Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius dismissed head coach Marcelo Nicola on Monday after less than a year on the club’s bench. Assistant coach Aurimas Jasilionis will assume head coaching duties on an interim basis. Nicola, 44, first joined the club in February and coached it in the Eurocup Eighthfinals and helped it reach both the Lithuanian League and cup finals, but it lost both times against archrival Zalgiris Kaunas. His contract was renewed following the season, however after a 1-4 start in the Eurocup, management decided to go in a new direction. In all competitions, Nicola guided Rytas to 32 wins, 13 losses and 1 tie as the head coach.
Nicola enjoyed a stellar career as a player in Spain and Italy; he was an All-Euroleague Second Team selection for the 2001-02 season, when he played for Benetton Treviso. Nicola retired as a player in 2007 and began coaching, first as an assistant at Benetton and later with UCAM Murcia in Spain. Nicola was Murcia’s head coach for the second half of the 2013-14 season.