|20 March 2012|
BASKETBALL IN EUROPE
|Chus Mateo will no longer direct Berni Rodriguez, Luka Zoric and the rest of Unicaja Malaga players |
Things can go horribly wrong for any coach of any team.
Save the sudden emergence of teenage sensation Alex Abrines of Spain, the MVP of last summer's U18 European Championship, nothing has gone well for Unicaja Malaga of late and promising young coach Chus Mateo has paid the price by losing his job.
Unicaja have announced the departure of Mateo, an assistant to Spain boss Sergio Scariolo at EuroBasket 2009.
A club statement said: "The Board of Directors of Malaga Basketball gathered today and has decided to dismiss Jesus Mateo Díez from the position of head coach of the ACB team.
"In this situation, Francisco Aurioles, up this time an assistant coach, will take over as head coach of team functions.
"Unicaja Basketball wants to thank the work and effort made by Jesus Mateo Díez from the moment he became head of the coaching staff on 18 January 2011 until today."
A side in the Turkish Airlines Euroleague, Unicaja lost all six of their games in the Top 16.
More importantly, the team's form in the Spanish league (Liga Endesa) has been abysmal, with their 90-68 drubbing at Caja Laboral over the weekend the club's fifth consecutive defeat.
Unicaja have lost nine of their last 11 games to fall out of the top eight - the play-off positions in the Liga Endesa.
Malaga are in 10th place at 13-12, though a climb up the standings is possible with fourth-place Valencia Basket 14-11 in the tightly-packed competition.
Mateo replaced Spanish great Aito Garcia Reneses at the Unicaja helm 13 months ago.
Croatia's national team boss Jasmin Repesa is among those being linked with the position.
Repesa, who coached Benetton Treviso last season, returned home to Croatia to coach Cibona Zagreb in the Adriatic League.