Croatia: Vanjak Returns To Zadar


BC Zadar have parted ways with coach Rudolf Jugo and handed the reins to former boss Vlado Vanjak.

Zadar, who began the EuroCup with three consecutive defeats, bounced back with three straight wins and advanced to Round II where Jugo's men split their first two games in Group K.

But in the Adriatic League, Zadar have struggled with only three victories from 10 games.

Club general manager Giuseppe Giergia was willing to keep Jugo as coach but the team's poor form in the Adriatic League led to dissent on the board.

"When it's 10 against one, there is nothing I can do," Giergia said to PA Sport.

Vanjak is familiar with the set-up at Zadar, having coached the club five years ago.

His most recent job was to serve as an assistant to Croatian national side boss Neven Spahija at EuroBasket 2005.

Zadar firmly believe they have a chance to contend for honours in Europe this season.

Next up is a EuroCup game on January 10 at home to Slask Wroclaw.

"Two teams will go up (to the quarter-finals), and in my opinion, it will be the Russian (Lokomotiv Rostov) team and us," Giergia said.

There is real buzz about basketball in Zadar, with construction of a 10,000-seat arena underway and set to open next season.

"It's a big gym, and it's important for us to build up the team," Giergia said.

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