Lietuvos Rytas, coach Anzulovic part ways

Drazen AnzulovicLietuvos Rytas has announced a mutual agreement with head coach Drazen Anzulovic to terminate his contract, the club announced Friday. Anzulovic joined the team in late May, agreeing to terms on a one-year deal with an option for the 2011-12 season. Anzulovic, however, could not help Lietuvos Rytas to win the Baltic BBL Cup, losing 61-57 in the title game against Estonian powerhouse TU/Rock.

Since that moment, Lietuvos Rytas registered three double-digit losses in friendly games against Montepaschi Siena (63-83), Asseco Prokom (67-90) and in its VTB League opening showdown against CSKA Moscow (80-61). L.Rytas makes its Lithuanian League debut against Nevezis tomorrow. The club is working hard to sign a new coach in the upcoming days.

Anzulovic will be replacement by a former Lietuvos Rytas player Robert Stelmahers who will be coaching the team until a new head coach is found. The 36-year-old Latvian coach was in charge of Perlas, which is an unofficial Rytas famr team in LKL, for the second of last season. He joined Rytas in summer as an assistant coach of Drazen Anzulovic.

Interestingly, Croatian coach Ivan Sunara, who took charge of Perlas in summer, was also released today. The official explanation of such move by the club is that Sunara’s training was too tough for the youngsters of Perlas. But the main reason of the firing of Sunara was that he forced the young Perlas team to play methodical basketball which apparently was not what the owners of the club wanted.