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Oleg Meleschenko has been appointed head coach of Russian Superleague club Lokomotiv Rostov.

The 39-year-old, who worked under Kestutis Kemzura on the coaching staff of rivals BC Khimki last season, admitted being excited by the new challenge at a club that narrowly missed out on reaching the quarterfinals of this year's EuroCup.

Speaking on the club's website, he said: "I must admit that I was happy to get such an offer. Now the main thing is to confirm that the board of the club has made the right choice."

His first task as successor to Aco Petrovic will be to help the club improve on its domestic performance from 2006-07.

The team finished fifth in the league but was swept in three games by Dynamo Moscow in the Superleague playoff quarterfinals.

His immediate plans are to bond the team into a unit.

"As for the nearest plans, we will have the first training camp in Rostov," Meleschennko said.

"And also in the second part of July we're going to participate in several pre-season tournaments."
Greek international forward Antonios Fotsis will go into this summer fully focused on EuroBasket 2007 in Spain after agreeing a deal to stay at Dynamo Moscow for another two years.

The 29-year-old, who joined Dynamo in 2005, averaged 11.1 points and 5.4 rebounds in the Russian Superleague.

The agreement was announced on the club's official website.

Dynamo deputy chairman Vladimir Mikhalevsky told Sport-Express: "I'm very glad Fotsis decided to stay at our club and I'm sure that he won't regret his choice.

"He had plenty of offers, including some from leading European clubs.

"I won't name them but it wasn't easy for us to fend off competition for his signature."

Fotsis played a crucial role in the Greek teams that won gold at EuroBasket 2005 and silver at the 2006 FIBA World Championship and will be a member of Panagiotis Yannakis' National Team that will play in Group A with Russia, Serbia and the team that wins the additional qualifying tournament.

Mikhalevsky added that there is likely to be a shake-up of the roster for next season after Dynamo fell at the semifinal stage of the Superleague A playoff.

"There will be big challenges set for the team next season," Mikhalevsky said.

"The core of the team will remain the same but several fringe players will leave the club.

"And we're proud that four of our players have been called up to the Russia team. It means that we are heading in the right direction."

Chief executive Gennadi Drozdov also revealed that the club will not be offering American guard Eddy Gill a new contract.

Meanwhile, forward Ksistof Lavrinovic has admitted he is leaving UNICS.

The 27-year-old Lithuanian international said: "I've already signed a contract with one of the leading Italian clubs but I can't say who until the end of the Italian playoffs.

"I can only confirm that it isn't Milan as there was speculation I was about to join them."

However, head coach Antanas Sireika later revealed Lavrinovic's destination during a press conference on Monday.

"Ksistof Lavrinovic is leaving the club - he has signed a contract with (Montepaschi) Siena," said Sireika, the former Lithuanian National Team coach.

"But (Dmitry) Sokolov, (Alexey) Zhukanenko, (Sergei) Chikalkin, (Ksistof's brother) Darjus Lavrinovic, (Petr) Samoylenko and (Dusko) Savanovic will all be staying.

"And we still haven't decided whether the American players will be retained."

UNICS president Eugeni Bogachev also confirmed that Sireika has signed a contract to stay on as head coach next season.

Elsewhere, Russian international guard Nikolai Padius will leave Dynamo Moscow Region to forge a new career abroad.

Chief executive Grigori Gukasyan told "Sport-Express": "Padius would like to play for a foreign club due to family circumstances."

Head coach Ettore Messina has insisted he will stay at the CSKA Moscow helm to quash speculation he was set for a move to the NBA, while Russian international guard and captain Zakhar Pashutin is set to sign on at the club for another two years.

Finally, CSKA guard Theo Papaloukas has been named the Russian Superleague's best player for the second year in a row by his peers.

In a poll conducted by Sport-Express that canvassed the opinions of 80 players who took part in the playoffs, Papaloukas came out on top ahead of Dynamo Moscow's Greece National Team center Lazaros Papadopulos with CSKA's Slovenian forward Matjaz Smodis third.

Papaloukas also revealed he would decide on his own future shortly.

"I have some offers from the NBA but I must decide whether I should go or whether it's better to stay," he said.

"I will decide in about a week. I won't consider any other European clubs except CSKA.

On his award, Papaloukas added: "It's important to obtain the recognition of my colleagues.

"If players you play with or against name you the best player, it's a very pleasing thing.

"It means that you've really done something that deserved their respect and recognition.

"For me, it's an additional source of motivation and motivation is the most important thing in sport."

Dinamo Moscow region sign Fedor Dmitriev, formerly playing for Spartak Saint Petersburg.

Dinamo inked a contract with the coach Stanislav Eremin which let them invite players with big names.

The team have signed Jamie Arnold who spent the previous season with Maccabi Elite and the Russian national side forward Fedor Dmitriev.

"Dinamo move is a step up for sure," said Dmitriev to Sport Express.

David Blatt is sure CSKA made the right choice when acquired Nikos Zisis.

The Russian national side head coach David Blatt was at the helm of Benetton when Nikos Zisis played for the team.

The Greek guard will wear CSKA's uniform the coming season as he has signed a three-year contract with the team.

"It is a very good acquirement for CSKA," said David Blatt to Sport Express.

"Zisis is a most gifted player and quite an experienced one as he has already been crowned Greek, Italian and European champion."

"I think he is one of the most promising players in the world."

Dinamo Moscow won't extend their contract with the Serbian guard Bojan Popovic.

"Popovic's contract was designed for two years but we could extend it if we chose," said Dinamo general director Gennadiy Drozdov to Sport Express.

"We'd like to thank Popovic for his work and wish him every success in his career."

Unics in their turn have recruited Virgil Stanescu who used to play for Spartak Vladivostok.

"The Romanian centre produced a favorable impression on us in quarterfinals," said Unics president Evgeniy Bogachev to Sport Express.

"So we thought it would be better if he played for us, not against."

Dinamo will represent Russia in ULEB Cup along with Unics and Khimki.

ULEB Cup management are going to extend the number of teams playing in the tournament.

In case the suggestion to make it a 32-team tournament gets a green light, Dinamo are likely to be the third team to represent Russia in the competition.

Kestutis Kemzura and Antanas Sireika will continue coaching Khimki and Unics respectively.

BC Khimki have signed new two-year contracts with the head coach Kestutis Kemzura and the key players Maciej Lampe, Kelly McCarty.

The silver medalists of the gone campaign Unics Kazan inked a new contract with the head coach Antanas Sireika.

"I will stay in Kazan till I lead the team to Russian Superleague crown," said Antanas Sireika.

Dinamo Moscow and Dusan Ivkovic chose not to extend the coach's contract with the team.

The two years at the helm of Dinamo proved controversial for Ivkovic as the team caused a sensation in Europe by winning ULEB Cup and making Euroleague quarterfinals but stumbled in domestic championship.

Dinamo president Evgeniy Gomelskiy commented on the decision to Sport Express.

"I can say only positive things about Ivkovic as he made European teams respect Dinamo," said Gomelskiy to Sport Express.

"His advice on club management has always been very precious for us."

"As for the new coach, I can't say anything definite yet."

"We are holding talks with a number of candidates."
RUS - Eremin takes charge at Dynamo

MOSCOW (Superleague) - Stanislav Eremin has been appointed the new coach of Dynamo Moscow after signing a two-year contract with the team.

Eremin, who was among 20 candidates interviewed by club president Evgeniy Gomelskiy, leaves his position as head coach at UNICS Kazan after spending seven years there.

He has also coached CSKA Moscow, where he collected an impressive haul of nine Russian Superleague titles in the 1990s.

Ermin is already planning some changes at Dynamo with players expected to leave the team.

"More than 50% of the players who played for the club last season will stay in the team," Eremin told <!-- w --><a class="postlink" href="">[url=""][/url]</a><!-- w -->.

"The rest of the players will leave the club due to different reasons but primarily because of financial and personal things.

"We need players and we need a team that will be able to play for the medals."

Caretaker manager Dmitri Shakulin will continue to work for the club as Eremin's assistant.

Ermin has already been boosted by the signing of Russian international and Spartak St Petersburg forward Fedor Dmitriev on a two-year contract.

Dmitriev played 23 games for Spartak last season and averaged 13.7 points and 4.9 rebounds.

Despite losing Eremin, UNICS Kazan have moved to sign Spartak Vladivostok's Romanian centre Virgil Stanescu.

The 30-year-old is the club's first signing of the off season and has put pen to paper on a a one-year contract at the Basket-Hall Arena.

UNICS president Eugeni Bogachev was happy to have clinched the deal.

"Stanescu has impressed us during our play-off game against Spartak," Bogachev told Sport Express.

"So we have decided that it will be better to have this player in our team than to have him in a team playing against us."

Meanwhile CSKA Moscow guard Teodoros Papalukas has revealed he will leave the club to pursue his career in the United States.

"I've decided to continue my career in the NBA," Papalukas said.

"I want to challenge myself in America so I have been considering several offers from there and only if talks are unsuccessful will I remain with CSKA."

The club have already prepared for the departure of Papalukas by signing fellow Greek guard Nikos Zisis from Italian club Benetton.

The 23-year-old has signed a three-year contract and CSKA vice-president Andrei Vatutin revealed they faced strong competition for his signature.

"We're happy that we've finally signed Zisis as many European clubs were interested in him," Vatutin told <!-- w --><a class="postlink" href="">[url=""][/url]</a><!-- w -->.

"We have got a young and highly motivated player in our team who without any doubt is a fine example of modern guard.

"I have no doubts that he will become a real star of European basketball in the very near future."
Current standings:

[Image: superleaguedh0.png]
Khimki has been impressive so far and I think that they have one of the deepest rosters in Europe and are certainly the only team in Russia who can challenge CSKA.
Weekend's most notable result:

Khimky 94-87 Dynamo (Moscow)

And the overall standings:

[Image: russia.jpg]
0.4 seconds remaining in quarter-final game Dynamo (blue) vs Triumph (white). Triumph leads 86-85. Domercant hits a crazy shot but the last shout belongs to Sergei Toporov.

[quote name='"Vilius":15j39lh8']0.4 seconds remaining in quarter-final game Dynamo (blue) vs Triumph (white). Triumph leads 86-85. Domercant hits a crazy shot but the last shout belongs to Sergei Toporov.


What a crazy game, Bazarevitch simply cannot believe it for two times in a row lol Amazing finale!
CSKA champion! What a surprise <!-- sWink -->[img]{SMILIES_PATH}/wink.gif[/img]<!-- sWink -->

[Image: 1211831280.jpg]

Quote:CSKA Moscow underlined their status as the best team in Europe by completing a 3-0 sweep of BC Khimki in the Russian Superleague play-off finals on Monday.

Ettore Messina's men rolled to an 88-78 win on the road with their Euroleague Final Four MVP Trajan Langdon again leading the way with 21 points.

Slovenia's Matjaz Smodis had 16 points, Russia's JR Holden 13 and Lithuania's Ramunas Siskauskas 12 in the win. All three will now have a rest before linking up with their national teams for this summer's international competitions.

"I am very happy and proud with this win," said CSKA coach Messina, who earlier this month signed a contract extension with the club.

"We played the Russian play-offs against Dynamo (Moscow) and Khimki after the Final Four and we went 6-0. That was extremely difficult.

"We showed a great mentality, we stayed together as a team. No one in the club expected us to win all three games in the finals in a row. And I think everyone should be happy because of that."

CSKA have now won six domestic titles on the trot in Russia.

They have also reached the Euroleague final three times in a row, winning twice including this year's triumph in Madrid over Maccabi Tel Aviv.

Khimki did beat CSKA in the final of the Russian Cup this season.

Hollis Price (..Rytas' ex-player) is the new pg of Dynamo Moscow..

Mr Blatt has started dynamically the ''building'' of the new roster.. <!-- s:thup: -->[img]{SMILIES_PATH}/thup.gif[/img]<!-- s:thup: -->
Dynamo Moscow re-signed Sergei Monya for 2 seasons.
Hollis Price will get 2,5 mln for 2 years <!-- sOhmy -->[img]{SMILIES_PATH}/ohmy.gif[/img]<!-- sOhmy -->
Spartak St. Petersburg to sign Andrew Wisniewski.

Dynamo Lyubertsy officially confirmed the acquisition of Kerem Tunçeri.
CSKA loaned C Anatoly Kashirov to Spartak St. Petersburg.
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