|04 June 2013|
BASKETBALL IN EUROPE
|Ales Pipan last coached MZT Skopje, leading the club to a domestic league and cup double |
F.Y.R. of Macedonia head coach Ales Pipan will be handed the reins of Union Olimpija Ljubljana next season, the historical Slovenian club announced on Tuesday.
The 54-year-old tactician and Olimpija have signed a one-year contract, a statement on the club's official website specified, while adding that the presentation to the media will take place already on Tuesday afternoon.
The Ljubljana club had parted ways with coach Saso Filipovski in late May after a disappointing season which saw them losing to Krka Novo Mesto in the domestic Premier A league finals for the fourth year in a row and finishing in eighth place in the ABA Adriatic league.
Pipan meanwhile has completed the season at the helm of KK MZT Skopje Aerodrom, a side he led to the domestic league title in F.Y.R of Macedonia and a seventh-place finish in the Adriatic league.
The Slovenian has previously coached nearly all top clubs in his native country's league, notably Zlatorog (Pivovarna) Laško, Krka Novo Mesto and Slovan; this however will be his first stint at Olimpija.
Pipan started his career on the sidelines at Maribor over two decades ago and joined the coaching staff of the Slovenian national team as an assistant in 1998 and was promoted to head coach in 2003, a post he held for four years.
The Slovenian however continued to combine national team and club coaching roles, as he was put in charge of Poland after EuroBasket 2009 and also worked in the country as head coach of Anwil Wloclawek.
The collaboration between Pipan and the Polish federation was terminated in January and only days later the F.Y.R. of Macedonia basketball federation announced they had agreed with him to steer the Balkan nation's team to EuroBasket 2013.
F.Y.R. of Macedonia were drawn into Group B in the First Round of the EuroBasket and will take on their neighbours Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Latvia, Lithuania and Montenegro.
EuroBasket 2013 tips off on 4 September in Slovenia.