BASKETBALL IN EUROPE
|Slovenia Head Coach Bozidar Maljkovic is no longer in charge of Cedevita Zagreb |
Božidar Maljković has stepped down as Cedevita head coach, the Croatian club announced on Tuesday.
Maljković is also the head coach of the Slovenian national team and is expected to lead the hosts at EuroBasket 2013 in September.
The Serbian coach's resignation came as a surprise in Zagreb and around Europe.
According to certain media reports, Maljković has cited personal reasons for his decision.
His agent, Ivo Nakic, informed Cedevita that the coach did not wish their collaboration to continue, club officials said at a press conference in Zagreb on Tuesday afternoon.
"When I called him to see what was going on, he said he has neither the strength nor the desire to continue to work," Cedevita's sporting director Matej Mamic said.
The 60-year-old tactician had signed a two-year deal wit the Zagreb club in the summer, after spending the previous season in Russia, at the helm of Lokomotiv Kuban.
Cedevita had a rough start to the season but their performances improved notably in November.
They picked up two consecutive wins in the Turkish Airlines Euroleague, their first ever in the competition, to maintain hopes of qualifying to the Top 16 alive.
The Zagreb outfit are in third place in the Adriatic league, behind KK Igokea and Partizan, with a 6-3 record.
Maljković is one of the most decorated coaches in club basketball, having won the Euroleague title on four occasions.
He led a young Yugoplastika Split side to the top of Europe in 1989 and 1990, and then conquered the coveted trophy with Limoges in 1993 and Panathinaikos in 1996.
His extensive trophy case also includes league titles in Spain, Greece, the former Yugoslavia and France as well as a Korac Cup with Unicaja Malaga, in 2001.