|22 November 2013|
|Former Turkey head coach Ertugrul Erdogan has been tipped as a potential replacement coach at Royal Hali Gaziantep |
Royal Hali Gaziantep's 74-69 home defeat to CSM Oradea in Group B action sent shock-waves around the EuroChallenge on Tuesday and its consequences are more far-reaching than initially thought.
In the wake of their first loss after three games in the EuroChallenge, the Turkish club's front office held an extraordinary meeting with head coach Aziz Bekir and announced a drastic decision.
"Coach Aziz Bekir and our board of directors have decided to terminate the contract between the two parties by mutual consent," the official statement of the club said.
"We wish coach Bekir the best of success in both his sports and family life."
Bekir and Gaziantep had penned a two-year deal last June, following the club's first season in the Turkish top flight, as Gaziantep had earned promotion to the BEKO TBL in 2012.
While the home loss to Oradea was what sparked the decision, Gaziantep were already unhappy with their season so far as despite winning their first two games in the EuroChallenge they were off to a 1-5 start in the TBL.
Gaziantep have not made any announcement with regards to the process of selecting Bekir's successor, but early reports in the Turkish press suggest the main candidates are Ertugrul Erdogan, Timuçin Meriç and Hasan Özmeriç.
Gaziantep are facing Mersin at home in TBL action at the weekend but their next encounter in the EuroChallenge is on 3 December, when they play host to reigning champions Krasnye Krylia.
SZOLNOKI GET HOLIDAY
Another team that suffered its first loss of their EuroChallenge campaign in Week 3, Szolnoki Olaj, have taken a step that might help them bounce back immediately.
The Hungarians have bolstered their roster by tabbing 24-year-old small forward Justin Holiday.
The 1.98m American is no stranger to the EuroChallenge, as he played with Okapi Aalstar in the 2011-12 season and averaged 7.8 points and 3.4 rebounds per game.
Holiday then returned to his home country and had and excellent season with Idaho Stampede, as he averaged 17.3 points and 5.3 rebounds per game and was included in the NBA D-League's second-best defensive team.
The best however for Holiday came after the end of the season in the development league, as he joined the Philadelphia Sixers and made nine appearances in the NBA contributing 4.7 points and 1.7 assists per contest.
Szolnoki's new recruit is the brother of guard Jrue Holiday, who now plays for the New Orleans Pelicans.
Holiday could make his debut as early as Sunday, when Szolnoki are playing host to Buducnost Podgorica in the ABA Adriatic League.