Banvit show statement of intent heading into inaugural season

Turkish side Banvit have brought in two Slovenians to strengthen their squad ahead of the first FIBA Basketball Champions League season, which begins on September 27 with a round of additional qualifiers.

Veteran Slovenian head coach Saso Filipovski joins the Bandirma club from Polish side Stelmet Zielona Gora has assumed the task to steer Banvit this season. The 41-year-old tactician won back-to-back Polish titles and he previously accomplished a similar feat during his last two-year spell at Union Olimpija Ljubljana, with whom he lifted the Slovenian Cup trophy in both 2012 and 2013.

Despite his relatively young age, Filipovski already has two decades of coaching experience under his belt as he started off as an assistant coach at Union Olimpija when he was just 22 years old. He became the head coach seven years later and served in that role from 2003 to 2005, winning a Slovenian league title with the Ljubljana powerhouse.

And keeping with a Slovenian theme, Flipovski has added fellow countryman Edo Muric to the roster.

 

The Slovenian international comes to Turkey from Partizan Belgrade after two years at the club. In the 2014-15 EuroCup season, the 24-year-old averaged 14 points and 4.1 rebounds in seven games.

Muric joins American signing Jordan Theodore, who won last season’s FIBA Europe Cup with Fraport Frankfurt Skyliners and promising Turkish under-20 small forward Tolga Gecim on the roster.

Banvit were drawn in Group A of the Basketball Champions League together with Theodore’s former team, the Skyliners, as well as Aris Thessaloniki, CEZ Nymburk, Helios Suns Domzale, AS Monaco and two teams that will emerge from qualification round two.