|27 February 2012|
BASKETBALL IN EUROPE
|New Anadolu Efes coach Ilias Zouros will have at his disposal a quality roster, which features players such as FIBA Europe Player of the Year candidate Dusko Savanovic |
Anadolu Efes announced on Monday that Greece national team coach Ilias Zouros will replace Ufuk Sarica at the helm of the club.
Efes parted ways with the Turkish coach following Saturday's loss at Banvit, their third league defeat of the season.
The agreement should have no influence on Zouros's commitment with the Greek national team.
The experienced coach was in charge of another Euroleague club, Zalgiris Kaunas, until he was replaced shortly after the start of the season by Aleksandar Trifunovic.
Zouros had conquered the Lithuanian league title with Zalgiris and then led Greece to a sixth-place finish at EuroBasket 2011.
He was named coach of the year in the Eurocup in the 2009/10 season having led modest Greek side Panellinios to the Final Four.
In a statement released by the club, Efes General Manager Engin Ozerhun said: "The results unfortunately brought us to this point. Ufuk Sarica is going to be a part of our body and will stay at Anadolu Efes Sports Club. Until the end of the season Greek National Team Coach Ilias Zouros will be the head coach of Anadolu Efes Sports Club."
The only chance Zouros has of collecting some silverware in the remainder of the season lies on the domestic front as Efes are already out of contention for a spot in the Euroleague play-offs.
The Turkish side only managed to win one game in the competition's Top 16, despite having put together a star-laden roster this summer, that includes the likes of Dusko Savanovic, Sasha Vujacic, Stanko Barac, Esteban Batista and Turkey internationals Kerem Tunceri, Sinan Guler and Kerem Gonlum.
"After being here for long years as player and coach at my club which I love to work for very much, I decided to stop coaching after agreeing mutually. I wish my club to spend the remaining of the season successfully and I thank the coaches, managers and players for their efforts while we worked together," said Ufuk Sarica.
Zouros now becomes the second Greek coach to work in Turkey, after George Dikeoulakos who has led Fenerbahce to the EuroLeague Women Final 8.