|24 January 2013|
|Aleksandar Petrovic turned Bosnia and Herzegovina into a force to be reckoned with in the Qualification Round|
Group B sees the coming together of polar opposites in terms of coaches with some of the most experienced in the business coming up against relative newbies to the scene of international basketball.
Bosnia and Herzegovina were a force to be reckoned with during EuroBasket 2013 Qualification Round and a lot of that comes back to Croatian head coach Aleksandar (Aco) Petrovic. The 53-year-old has already appeared at EuroBasket, most recently at the helm of Croatia in 2001, and knows what is required to gain a spot on the podium at Europe's biggest basketball tournament, having done so in both capacities as player and coach.
Another returning to the sidelines, albeit sporting a different colour polo shirt, is new Lithuanian head coach Jonas Kazlauskas. The 58-year-old returns to his native Lithuania, having most recently appeared at EuroBasket in 2009 when he led Greece to a bronze medal. This is the second time Kazlauskas has been responsible for the Lithuanian national team, having also spent time on the international scene as coach of China.
It is difficult to envy Ales Pipan who arguably has the toughest job in Slovenia as new head coach of F.Y.R. of Macedonia. The Macedonians somewhat overachieved in 2011 by reaching the semi-finals, and the native Slovenian will no doubt be all too aware that the basketball-mad Macedonians will now be expecting a repeat of that achievement this time round.
|EuroBasket newcomer Luka Pavicevic and Montenegro will try to improve their result in only their second EuroBasket Final Round |
Turning heads in the past summer was Luka Pavicevic at the head of a Montenegrin team who stormed through qualification undefeated, suggesting a vast improvement on their 21st placing in Lithuania could be on the cards. As the head coach of his native senior national team for the first time, a good result in Slovenia could cement his place in the position for the foreseeable future.
It would hardly seem like a EuroBasket without Dusan Ivkovic prowling the sidelines with Slovenia marking his seventh tournament as a head coach, either with Yugoslavia or Serbia. The 69-year-old is no stranger to winning with four EuroBasket medals to his name and will be now focused on putting a poor qualification campaign behind him.
With the youngest and least experienced roster leading to a poor placing in Lithuania two years ago, the Latvian Basketball Federation acknowledged that the country was going through a rebuilding phase and showed wisdom in retaining their faith in Ainars Bagatskis, a man just as green behind the ears as his players. With two more years valuable experience under his belt, Bagatskis will hold the utmost respect of some of his more experienced peers in this group.