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Gaziantep Surprise As Zdovc Takes Reins

27 November 2013
EUROCHALLENGE
Jure Zdovc
Jure Zdovc is back in action, this time with Royal Hali Gaziantep

In a surprise move, Royal Hali Gaziantep have announced that Slovenian coach Jure Zdovc is to take charge of the Turkish EuroChallenge club and stay at the helm until the end of the 2014/15 season.

Zdovc replaces on the sidelines coach Aziz Bekir, with whom Gaziantep parted ways last week, following the home loss to CSM Oradea in EuroChallenge action.

The Turkish club posted the news on social media on Wednesday, saying that they signed a contract of '1,5 years' with the Slovenian tactician.

Following a highly decorated career as a player, during which he won the EuroBasket and World Championship gold medal with the then Yugoslavia, Zdovc started off as assistant coach at Krka Novo Mesto in 2003.

He went on to take charge of clubs such as KK Split, Iraklis Thessaloniki, Bosna Sarajevo, and Olimpija Ljubljana, while he was named head coach of the Slovenian national team in 2009.

Zdovc steered his home nation to the semi-finals of EuroBasket 2009 in Poland and an eighth-place finish at the World Championship in Turkey the following year.

The 47-year-old stepped down from the national after that tournament and was handed the reins of Spartak Sankt Peterburg in 2011, replacing Zvi Sherf in the role.

Zdovc led the Russian club to the Eurocup Final Four and was named coach of the year in the competition during his first season at the helm.

He remained in charge of Spartak until last summer and his name had been linked with several top European clubs since then and until he penned the deal with Gaziantep.

The Slovenian had spent one season in Turkey as a player 15 years ago, interestingly on the books of fellow EuroChallenge side Tofas Bursa.

Gaziantep stand at 2-1 in EuroChallenge Group B and are in 12th place in the Turkish BEKO Ligi standings, with two wins in seven games.

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