|04 March 2013|
BASKETBALL IN EUROPE
|Aleksandar Petrovic stepped down as head coach of Cedevita Zagreb after his team slumped to their 11th defeat in the Adriatic League|
Aleksandar (Aco) Petrovic, the head coach of Bosnia and Herzegovina, has decided to step down as coach of Croatian club Cedevita Zagreb.
The Croatian tactician announced his decision following his team's 77-76 defeat at home to Partizan Belgrade in ABA Adriatic League action on Sunday night.
The result left Cedevita in seventh place in the standings with a 12-11 record and practically terminated their aspirations for a top-four finish in the Regular Season and a place in the league's Final Four.
With only three game days left to the end of the Regular Season, Partizan and Buducnost VOLI are currently tied at 14-9, occupying fourth and fifth place on the table, while Union Olimpija Ljubljana are in sixth spot, with a 13-10 record.
"Simply, having lost the chance to fight for the Final Four, I think it is better for the club to go on with someone else now, because I was not able to deliver what I expected," Petrovic justified his decision.
"I was expecting that we will be fighting with a legitimate option to make the Final Four until the very end.
"We did not do so, and that's why I think it no longer makes sense for me to stay on the bench of Cedevita."
The club's sporting director Matej Mamic commented that he was surprised by the decision and said the front office now needed 'to sit down and see how we proceed.'
He also made known that Jaksa Vulic will be handed the reins of the team until the end of the season.
Petrovic's second spell at Cedevita was certainly much shorter than anyone would have expected, as it lasted just over three months.
He had returned to the Zagreb club on 26 November 2012 following another unexpected resignation at its helm, that of Slovenia head coach Bozidar Maljkovic, who had started the season in charge.
When Petrovic took over in November, Cedevita were still competing in the Turkish Airlines Euroleague but did not manage to turn around their season after a slow start and advance to the Top 16; They finished bottom of Regular Season Group C with a 2-8 record.
During his first sting at the club, Petrovic had led the team to the Eurocup 2011 Final Four and was named coach of the year in the competition.
The former international with Yugoslavia, during his career as a player, was appointed coach of Bosnia and Herzegovina in February 2012 and led the Balkan side to first place in Group D of the EuroBasket 2013 Qualification Round last summer.
His resignation from Cedevita is not affecting his engagement with the Bosnian federation and he is expected to be in charge of the team at EuroBasket 2013.
Bosnia and Herzegovina will take on Serbia, Lithuania, F.Y.R. of Macedonia, Montenegro and Latvia in First Round Group B in September's showcase event in Slovenia.
Petrovic becomes the second coach of a EuroBasket-bound national team to resign from his job at a club in just one week, following Italy boss Simone Pianigiani's decision to part ways with Fenerbahce Ulker the previous Sunday.