Petrovic Takes Reins At Lietuvos Rytas

17 December 2013
Aleksandar (Aco) Petrovic
Aco Petrovic is entrusted with the hot seat in Vilnius, succeeding Dirk Bauermann

The head coach of Bosnia and Herzegovina at EuroBasket 2013, Aleksandar (Aco) Petrovic, is the new boss of Euroleague side Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius.

The 54-year-old Croatian tactician, who has not yet renewed his collaboration with the Bosnia and Herzegovina federation, will remain at the helm of the Lithuanian club until the end of the season with the two parties having the option to extend the agreement into the following year, Lietuvos Rytas announced on Monday.

The head coaching role in Vilnius became vacant on 9 December, when the Lithuanian powerhouse parted ways with Dirk Bauermann following the team's failure to advance to the second stage of the Turkish Airlines Euroleague.

Petrovic had taken charge of the Bosnia and Herzegovina national team in February 2012 and steered them through a successful EuroBasket qualification campaign the following summer.

At EuroBasket 2013 however last September, the Balkan side won three of their five games but did not manage to qualify to the Second Round, as they found themselves at the wrong end of a four-team tie in the very competitive First Round Group B.

Cedevita Zagreb was the latest club that Petrović had worked for, prior to assuming the reins in Vilnius.

It was his second spell at the Zagreb club and it lasted only from November 2012 to March 2013, when he resigned from the post in the wake of a home defeat to Partizan Belgrade in the ABA Adriatic League.

Petrovic had a highly decorated playing career with the former Yugoslavian national team and Cibona Zagreb, the club with which he won the Euroleague title alongside his late brother Drazen in 1985.

Following his retirement from action, Petrovic took over as head coach of Cibona in 1991 and was handed the reins of the Croatian national team three years later.

The Sibenik-born coach steered a Croatian side that included the likes of Toni Kukoc, Dino Radja, Arijan Komazec, Velimir Perasovic and Stojan Vrankovic to the bronze medal at EuroBasket 1995.

At club level, his finest hour as coach came during his first spell at Cedevita when he was voted Coach of the Year in the Eurocup in 2011 after taking the Zagreb club to the Final Four of the competition on a shoestring budget. 

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