BASKETBALL IN EUROPE
|Simone Pianigiani waves good bye to the Siena fans after six consecutive league titles|
Simone Pianigiani made history as the coach of Montepaschi Siena by leading the Italian club to a record six consecutive Lega A titles.
Now the tactician, who also holds the reins of Italy's national team, has decided to take up a new challenge and coach Fenerbahce.
The Istanbul giants, who finished in the Top 16 of the Turkish Airlines Euroleague for the second year in a row under coach Neven Spahija and also lost in the first round of the Beko Basketbol Ligi play-offs, on Sunday confirmed they have put Pianigiani in charge.
Fener announced they have given the 43-year-old coach a 2 + 1 year contract.
"I can't wait to reach the aims of great success with the support of the Fenerbahce fans whom I have always watched with great admiration," Pianigiani said in a club statement.
"I am here to succeed and continue to succeed consistently and here there is everything a coach needs and wants to reach this success."
Pianigiani didn't just win league titles in Italy but he also captured four Coppa Italia and five Italian Super Cups.
He was able to lead Montepaschi to the Euroleague Final Four, the last time in 2011, but did not guide them to a title.
Semih Ozsoy, who is the Fenerbahce board member responsible for basketball, said: "We are going to work together with Simone in achieving the aims of great success."
Kemal Dincer, the Fenerbahce Ulker Basketball branch coordinator, added: "After evaluating many different alternatives during this period, the decision was made towards Simone Pianigiani whom with his quality, consistency and proven success was the best choice for Fenerbahçe Ulker."
For now, Pianigiani will focus all of his attention on Italy's national team and their bid to reach EuroBasket 2013.
The Azzurri are in Qualification Round Group F with Turkey, the Czech Republic, Belarus and Portugal, and their first game is on 15 August at home against the Portuguese.