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BASKETBALL > Medical Park in search for coach

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News

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Oktay Mahmuti last season carried Galatasaray Medical Park to the Turkish league semifinal and the last 16 of the Europleague in the club’s debut appearance.

Oktay Mahmuti last season carried Galatasaray Medical Park to the Turkish league semifinal and the last 16 of the Europleague in the club’s debut appearance.

Galatasaray Medical Park parted ways yesterday with coach Oktay Mahmuti, and have immediately started the search for a replacement.

The Istanbul club and Mahmuti -- who this season carried the club to the Turkish league semifinal and the last 16 of the Europleague in the club’s debut appearance -- reportedly failed to agree on financial conditions. Mahmuti asked for $1.4 million annual salary, Hürriyet reported on its website yesterday.

The top candidate for the post is Erman Kunter, who has been coaching France’s Cholet Basket since 2006. Kunter confirmed last week that he had received offers from two Turkish clubs.

Meanwhile, legendary coach Zeljko Obradovic stepped down as coach of Panathinaikos on Tuesday, ending his a 13-year association with the Greek giant.

Panathinaikos announced that both parties had agreed to the move, while Obradovic released an open letter to the team’s supporters via the club website (www.poabc.gr).

“When I came in June 1999 to Athens to join Panathinaikos, I could not have imagined that this would be my team, my family, my home for 13 years,” said European basketball’s most successful coach.

“In these 13 years, we had many beautiful moments, many celebrations, but also difficulties. We were always together as a great and true family … I have had to take a very difficult decision, that the collaboration of all these years is over,” he added.

Obradovic won five Euroleague titles with the club, the first being in his very first season.
That trophy haul is more than any other European club has won since 1978 and two more than any other team in the Euroleague Final Four era, which started in 1988.

Obradovic also led Panathinaikos to unprecedented domestic success, winning 11 league titles and the Greek Cup seven times. Overall, they won 23 national competitions in 13 years.

Although they won the Greek Cup this season, the Greens surrendered the league title to arch rivals Olympiakos, and also exited the European Cup at the semifinal stage.

June/14/2012

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