Pianigiani won’t coach Italy at Olympic Qualifiers, Ettore Messina favourite to succeed

Photo courtesy Euroleague.net

Current San Antonio Spurs assistant coach Ettore Messina is the odds-on favourite to take over from Simone Pianigiani as the Italian national team coach.

This comes after Italian media revealed that Pianigiani would not coach the national side at the Olympic Qualifying Tournament next year.

Pianigiani roamed the sidelines for Italy for six years, taking over in 2009. It is rumoured that he will continue to work with the Italian Basketball Federation in a supervisory role.

Simone Pianigiani
Simone Pianigiani took charge of Italy for three Eurobasket tournaments from 2011-2015. He will likely stay within the Federation in a supervisory role.

Messina previously coached the national side for four years, between 1993 and 1997, where he led Italy to the silver medal at Eurobasket in his final year.

At club level the 56-year-old boasts an impressive resume having won the Euroleague crown four times with the latest being in 2008 with CSKA Moscow.

Messina has also won two Euroleague Coach of the Year awards as well as four Italian League championships and two VTB League titles.

In between his spells at CSKA Moscow and a forgetful run at Real Madrid, Messina was a consultant at the Los Angeles Lakers.