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Efes Anadolu shoots for success with a Greek coach

„Appointing Greek coach as a head coach represents a turning page moment in Turkish basketball, and even sports as well, considering the rivalry between the two countries.“

Turkish basketball giant ‘ Efes Anadolu ‘ got their new coach. The board of directors decided to give the stearing weal to the Greek national team coach and former head coach of ‘ Zalgiris Kaunas ‘, Ilias Zouros. He will replace Ufuc Sarica, who got fired after failing to complete the objectives given by the board and the fans expectations. The main target for this season was for the team to qualify for the Finalfour, and for that reason the team roster was given extra strength. Dusko Savanovic, Stanko Barac, Sasa Vujacic ( back from NBA ), are just few of the players brought at the  beginning of the season. Extra motive for everyone in the club was the fact that this years Final Four will be held inIstanbul, 11 – 13 May.

It is now clear that the ‘ host ‘ wont be a part of it. Sarica was the one to blame, so the decision to give him the sack didn’t came as a surprise for the fans. What did precisely that (for a small part of the fans), is the decision to name Zouros as head coach. Throughout history, he is just the second Greek coach to lead a team fromTurkey, after Dikeoulakos ( female Fenerbahce), but Ilias’s arrival caused a lot more media attention. Anadolu’s general manager, Engin Ozerhun says that everyone in the club are well aware of the step they are taking. ‘ Our results brought us at this point. The Greek national team coach is our new coach. I welcome Ilias Zouros toIstanbulin my own, and in the name of all sincere Efes fans ‘ – he stated.

Appointing Greek coach as a head coach represents a turning page moment in Turkish basketball, and even sports as well, considering the rivalry between the two countries. Zouros’s main priority, as he sees it, will be to restore the self-confidence of the players. This team was built for big things, and I believe that it has the capacity for them. That is the first thing that everybody in Efes must understand, and believe in it again. It’s an honour to be here, and i believe we will achieve great results together ‘ – said Zouros.

Part of Efes Anadolu’s roster is Macedonian playmaker Vlado Ilievski, currently on loan to Lokomotiv. Another Macedonian player that wore the ‘ beermakers ‘ uniform was Petar Naumovski. Ilias Zouros prefers strong defence followed by fast counteratacks, so Ilievski should fit in great in that style. There is still the national championship trophy in play for Anadolu.

Opinions are divided. Some believe that this is a right decision made in the right time. Others think that Zouros will try to in force the’ Greek stile of play ‘ in an environment which is not suitable for that kind of play. But they all agree in the fact that sport once again proves that there are no boundaries and judgements in the search for results. By appointing Zouros, Efes Anadolu gives a new  live to the project ‘ final four ‘ for next season, and all that is left is to see will the Greek coach find his way on the hot bench of the Turkish basketball giant..

Aleksandar Nikolovski