|19 June 2012|
BASKETBALL IN EUROPE
|Roberto Iniguez celebrating after the EuroLeague Women final in Istanbul |
Roberto Iniguez enjoyed his finest hour as a coach in Istanbul at the beginning of April when he led Ros Casares to the EuroLeague Women title.
Now the Spaniard is going to coach in the city where east meets west on a full-time basis after being handed the reins of Fenerbahce.
The Turkish club has announced his signing in a statement on their website.
Iniguez's career path took a major turn at the end of 2011 when he went from coaching youth teams at Valencia Basket to leading a talent-laden Ros Casares side that had played well but not well enough for the management of the European championship-starved club.
The Spanish coach replaced Natalia Hejkova at the helm but after a promising start, he watched as his squad fell to rivals Perfumerias Avenida in the Copa de la Reina (Spanish Cup) final.
That setback served as a wake-up call because not only did Ros Casares hit back to capture the EuroLeague Women title at the Final Eight, but they also returned to the top of the game in Spain by defeating Perfumerias in the Spanish league title series.
Iniguez, who played professionally at Baskonia, Valencia and Murcia, had hoped to receive a contract extension at Ros Casares but the club's sponsors decided they could no longer spend the money needed to compete in Europe or the Liga Femenina.
Indeed, Ros Casares have been wiped off the slate of Spanish and European basketball.
With some players having already left for new teams, now Iniguez has gone.
If he had plenty of talent at Ros Casares, Iniguez will have a lot at Fenerbahce, too, where the chance to become coach materialized after former boss George Dikeoulakos and the club parted ways.
At Fener, Iniguez will have a squad deemed capable by many of going all the way to the title.
Among his players will be a couple of newcomers to the club, Agnieszka Bibrzycka and Anastasiya Verameyenka.
Angel McCoughtry, Ivana Matovic and Cappie Pondexter are on the books of Fener, as well as Penny Taylor, although the Australia international will miss the beginning of the season while she recovers from a serious knee injury.