A day after parting ways with head coach Svetislav Pesic, Barcelona signed a three-year contract with Sarunas Jasikevicius. The 44-year-old coach was the head coach of Zalgiris since 2016. During his reign, the Kaunas side turned from EuroLeague underdogs to a playoff team.
Saras led Zalgiris to a shocking EuroLeague Final Four appearance in 2018. The Greens lost the semi-final to eventual runner-up Fenerbahce but claimed third place by downing CSKA Moscow. Jasikevicius’ departure marks an end of an era for Zalgiris.
He said on multiple occasions that Barcelona is one of his favorite places in the world. Saras was linked with Barca virtually every summer since he became a head coach, but the two sides would not reach an agreement until now.
The four-time EuroLeague champion as a player Saras had two spells with Barcelona in 2000-2003 and 2012-2013 before returning to his native Kaunas for the final season of his playing career.
Zalgiris also announced the departure of Saras.
Before agreeing with Barcelona, Jasikevicius was courted by Fenerbahce and was reportedly making progress in his negotiations. He has reportedly agreed to a less lucrative deal with Barca than the one offered by the Turkish giants.