Lietkabelis Panevezys officially announced the signing of a Serbian coach Nenad Canak, who will replace Gintaras Kadziulis. The decision was made after Lietkabelis’s narrow loss to Brose Bamberg in the Basketball Champions League.
The coaching change was also a result of the appointment of a new Sports Director Jonas Vainauskas, former Rytas GM, under whom Vilnius side won two EuroCup titles and made several appearances in the EuroLeague.
Canak has recently stepped down from head coach position at Partizan following five straight losses in the EuroCup and the ABA League.
“In Lithuania, as well is many European countries, there is a prevailing view that the Serbians are aggressive and tend to step over certain boundaries. Nenad is completely different, therefore he should be like in Lithuania. He is a calm and reserved person. Canak is a polite and educated person who has lots of human potential”, Vainauskas told the club’s website.
The 42-year-old coach will make his debut with Panevezys side on Saturday against 9th place Nevezis Kedainiai.
Vainauskas revealed that the club was choosing among several candidates, among whom was a former Khimki and Rytas head coach Rimas Kurtinaitis as well as a former Crvena Zvezda head coach Dusan Alimpijevic.
According to Vainauskas, Canak is the best choice as it will be his first coaching job abroad and he will be motivated unline Alimpijevic who has already coach in the EuroLeague. He also revealed that there were more well-known names who he talked with about the possibility to take over Lietkabelis head coach position, but they refused after learning that the club was Lietkabelis and not Rytas.
Currently Lietkabelis is seventh in an eight-team Group C in Basketball Champions League with a 1-3 record. Meanwhile, in Lithuanian League (LKL) the team is fourth among 10 teams having won 4 games and suffered 3 defeats.