Anadolu Efes Istanbul has brought back a familiar face in head coach Velimir Perasovic, who originally led the club in the 2010-11 season and on Tuesday inked a two-year deal to do so again.
Perasovic, 51, arrives from Laboral Kutxa Vitoria Gasteiz, which he led to one of its most successful seasons ever, reaching the Turkish Airlines Euroleague Final Four for the first time since 2008. Perasovic also helped Laboral make the Spanish League and Spanish Copa del Rey semifinals. Laboral’s fast-paced, attractive basketball attracted fans at home and around the continent. Perasovic had previously coached Laboral for almost two seasons during which the team qualified for the Euroleague Final Four in 2007. He also won the Copa del Rey title and took the club all the way to the Spanish League finals in 2006.
A three-time Euroleague champion with Split as a player, Perasovic also starred when Laboral – then called Taugres – lifted the Saporta Cup trophy in 1996. He has also coached Caja San Fernando and Estudiantes in Spain and Cibona Zagreb in Croatia. He guided Cibona to back-to-back Croatian League titles in 2009 and 2010, also winning the Kresimir Cosic Cup trophy and reaching the Adriatic League final in 2009.
His highlights as a player also include a Copa del Rey title with Taugres in 1995, four consecutive Yugoslavian League crowns with Split from 1988 to 1991, back-to-back gold medals with Yugoslavia at the 1990 FIBA World Cup and EuroBasket 1991, and an Olympic silver medal with Croatia in 1992.