PBC CSKA Board which took place on late Monday morning adopted 3-year development program. The Board decided not to extend Jonas Kazlauskas’ contract and to entrust the head coaching job to Ettore Messina.
Italian specialist was the co-author of the soundest successes in CSKA modern history in 2005-2009. Under his guidance red-blues qualified for the Euroleague Final Four for 4 seasons in a row, winning 2 titles, they won 4 Russian League titles and 2 Russian Cups. Ettore’s collection also includes two Euroleague wins and Saporta Cup with Virtus Bologna, 4 Italian Lega A titles and 7 Italian Cups. After leaving CSKA Messina coached Real Madrid and worked as coach-consultant for the Los Angeles Lakers last season.
Jonas Kazlauskas took over four CSKA in February 2010 in the mid of most disappointing year in club’s modern history. Lithuanian specialist led the team to the VTB League final game and Russian League gold. The re-built team dominated all the tournaments last year winning the VTB League gold, BEKO PBL gold and Euroleague silver.
Andrey Vatutin, PBC CSKA President:
As it was in 2005, the invitation of Ettore Messina is a momentous event for us. For the Board to sign Messina was one of the strategic priorities during the formation of the club for the coming season, the key to a new three-year program. The head coach does not need time to adapt - he will start working immediately. At the same time he will have to start all over again, because Ettore takes over a completely different team which he will have to create. Messina in acquired a new interesting experience in post-CSKA period, including the NBA experience, and I am sure his new knowledge will be useful for CSKA. I am glad that we have kept good relations and Messina’s return is not associated with any kind of difficulty, in contrast, it is absolutely natural. At the same time it is very difficult to part with Jonas, intelligent, decent man and an excellent coach. I want to emphasize that we have no complains to his work - under the guidance of coach Kazlauskas CSKA had one of the most successful seasons in history, the team demonstrated spectacular basketball, young players were able to show themselves, to reach a new level. Nevertheless, the Board adopted a new club three-year program, which provides a major renovation of roster and coaching staff, the improvement of the reserve. I would like to sincerely thank Jonas and I wish him luck in his future career.