Benes To Coach USK; Sulciute To Avenida

16 May 2012

BASKETBALL IN EUROPE

Lubor Blazek
Lubor Blazek has stepped down as coach of USK Prague but will continue at the helm of the Czech national team

ZVVZ USK Prague boss Lubor Blazek has reached a mutual decision with the club to leave the bench and take on another role with the Czech giants.

The outfit has promoted his assistant, Ivan Benes, to the head coaching position.

The team's general manager, Marek Kucera, said: "It is the outcome of a mutual agreement between the club's management and Lubor Blazek.

"The work of head coach is very demanding, and mentally hard, and Lubor will now be able to have more rest.

"In our club, however, he still remains."

In a statement issued by USK Prague, both Blazek and Benes commented on the changes.

Blazek, who also serves as the coach of the Czech Republic national team and will lead them at the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament for Women in Ankara, Turkey, next month, said: "In the position of head coach, I was at this level for 30 seasons, and after 30 years, one simply needs to stop, turn around and think for himself about the work from a different position.

"For my part, I can say that I am very glad I have this option.

"I also think it would be better with regard to the Czech national team because combining work in the club and national team is extremely difficult as one goes from one job to another.

"This change will allow me to concentrate more on my work as the national team coach.

Benes now has a great opportunity before him to lead a club that has had a deep squad of good players in recent seasons.

14. Egle Sulciute (Lithuania)
Lithuanian Egle Sulciute averaged 4.5 points and 2.0 rebounds in her four EuroLeague Women games with Galatasaray

Prague survived a difficult Group A this season in the EuroLeague Women and advanced to the Second Round but then fell 2-0 in their series to Wisla Can-Pack Krakow.

They finished the season on a high with a victory over Frisco Brno in the Czech play-off finals.

"The fact that I am moving to the position of head coach, I see as a great challenge," Benes said.

"I can definitely say that I'm looking forward to this job.

Benes has been at the helm of Prague before and says he doesn't expect many surprises.

"I think that for me, there will be no dramatic change and once again I say that I really look forward to it," he said.


SULCIUTE JOINS AVENIDA

Perfumerias Avenida have announced the signing of Lithuania international Egle Sulciute.

The 26-year-old joined Galatasaray late in the 2011-12 campaign from Mondeville and played at the EuroLeague Women Final Eight, averaging 4.5 points at the event staged in Istanbul's Abdi Ipekci.

Sulciute will be familiar with Avenida, having played at Spanish club Celta Vigo from 2009-11.


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