|17 January 2013|
|After being at the helm of Slovenia and Poland, Ales Pipan now takes over the national team of F.Y.R. of Macedonia|
Ales Pipan will be at the helm of the national team of F.Y.R. of Macedonia at the EuroBasket in his native Slovenia, the country's basketball federation (MKF) announced on Thursday.
Pipan succeeds Marjan Lazovski, who took over at F.Y.R. Of Macedonia in February 2012 and coached the team at last summer's Olympic Qualifying Tournament.
Lazovski had replayed 53-year-old coach Marin Dokuzovski, who steered the national team to possibly the biggest sporting success in the history of the country.
F.Y.R. Of Macedonia were the surprise package of EuroBasket 2011, claiming many a big-name scalp on their way to the semi-finals.
The Balkan side fell to Spain and then lost the bronze medal to Russia, but it had already exceeded expectations and the players received an epic heroes' welcome upon their return to capital Skopje.
The MKF announcement came only one day after the Polish Federation had denied to comment on media reports that they would not continue their collaboration with the 54-year-old Slovenian coach.
Poland had handed the reins of their senior national team to Pipan ahead of EuroBasket 2011.
They were drawn in a First Round group that included eventual champions Spain, hosts Lithuania and powerhouse Turkey and failed to advance to the Second Round.
The Slovenian tactician though guided Poland to a first-place finish in Group E in last summer's Qualification Round for EuroBasket 2013.
Pipan will no doubt be familiar with the legacy of Dokuzovski's EuroBasket 2011 side, as he is indeed very familiar with the country whose team he will guide at the EuroBasket.
He took over at KK MZT Skopje Aerodrom earlier in the season with the team of the capital currently sitting in eighth place in the Adriatic ABA League standings with a 9-8 record.
The new head coach of F.Y.R of Macedonia has been combining a job at a club with his duties as a national team coach for the best part of the last eight years.
He was at the helm of Pivovarna Laško during his three-year spell as head coach of Slovenia, before taking over at Poland.
Under Pipan, Slovenia took sixth place at EuroBasket 2005 in Serbia and 12th place at the 2006 World Championship in Japan.
At EuroBasket 2007, Slovenia looked to have secured a place in the semi-finals but they abolished a 12-point advantage in the quarter-final and lost to Greece at the death on a buzzer-beating three-pointer.
Pipan stayed in charge of his country's national one more year, and left the post after Slovenia failed to clinch a place at the 2008 Beijing Olympics in the Pre-Olympic Tournament.