|25 February 2014|
|Andrei Krivonos returns to the head coaching role at Tsmoki-Minsk|
Andrei Krivonos was promoted to the head coach role at Tsmoki Minsk on Monday night and will be in charge of the team in their home game against Bakken Bears Aarhus in the EuroChallenge.
The Belarusian club announced on the eve of the Last 16 Week 6 clash the termination of their collaboration, by mutual consent, with Donaldas Kairys, who had been at the helm since the beginning of the season.
The 39-year-old Krivonos meanwhile is more than just a familiar face at Minsk, since he had been the head coach for five seasons and stayed on at the club in the capacity of an assistant to Kairys after being replaced by the Lithuanian tactician in the summer.
"First of all, I'd like to thank Donaldas for the work he has done with us," said Tsmoki Minsk general manager Konstantin Shereverya in a statement on the club's official website.
"He's fanatically devoted to basketball, he eats and breathes the sport 24 hours a day and tries to spend every minute on improving himself.
"But, to our regret, Kairys did not possess the necessary experience to effectively organize our team's transition to a higher level and fully realise the potential of the players at his disposal.
"Nonetheless, we're grateful to Donaldas and believe that his career will soon take another successful turn."
Fellow Lithuanian Arvydas Straupis, who was a member of Kairys's coaching staff has also departed Minsk.
The Belarusian side has secured second place in Group L of the EuroChallenge Last 16 and a berth in the quarter-final play-offs, where they will face Royal Hali Gaziantep.
However, and despite the fact they got off to the best start to the season in their history in the VTB United League, Minsk are on an eight-game losing streak in the regional competition and right now stand minimal chances of reaching the play-offs.
The Belarusian club's management are hoping that reinstating Krivonos at the helm will help them towards regaining lost momentum and delivering success in the EuroChallenge, which is now realistically Minsk's next big goal.
Krivonos, who has also served as head coach of the Belarus national team, was first handed the reins at Minsk in 2008.
During his first tenure in charge, Minsk conquered five domestic league titles and four national cup titles.