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Russia’s first NBA player to manage national basketball team — source

January 20, 9:33 UTC+3 MOSCOW
According to the source, the appointment of Bazarevich, 50, to the post of the Russian national basketball team’s head coach will be officially announced on Wednesday
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Sergey Bazarevich

Sergey Bazarevich

© Vitaly Timkiv/TASS

MOSCOW, January 19. /TASS/. Sergey Bazarevich, the first Russia-born athlete to play in the NBA, will take the post of the head coach of the Russian national basketball team, a source in the Russian Basketball Federation (RBF) told TASS on Tuesday.

According to the source, the appointment of Bazarevich, 50, to the post of the Russian national basketball team’s head coach will be officially announced on Wednesday.

"We may say that there are no alternative candidacies to Bazarevich," the source said. "The RBF has no money to pay salary for an expensive famous specialist. Bazarevich has agreed minimum pay terms."

The Russian Basketball Federation (RBF) is set appoint the a new coach for the men’s national basketball team at the federation’s Executive Committee session on January 20.

Two other candidates for the post earlier named by RBF President Andrei Kirilenko are Russia’s Vasily Karasev and Italian specialist Andrea Trinchieri.

The national squad’s former Head Coach Yevgeny Pashutin resigned after the team failed to qualify for this year’s Olympics in Brazil.

The RBF in currently in a difficult situation and it was first struck hard last year, when women’s national team, who are the 2003, 2007 and 2011 European Champions, failed to qualify for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil.

In the further development of events, the RBF was suspended in July last year by the International Basketball Federation (FIBA), which cited the lack of transparency in the Russian federation’s management as the reason for its decision. All Russian national basketball teams were suspended from international competitions as a result of the suspension.

However, at a session of the FIBA’s Central Board, which convened on August 8-9 last year in Tokyo, Japan, it was decided to all the Russian national teams were to play at the international level championships, but the suspension of the RBF remained in force.

The 2015 FIBA European Championship, held between September 5 and 20, 2015 was not only the decider for the title of the best European basketball team, but also served as a qualifying tournament for the national teams’ spots at the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro.

The winner and the finalist of the tournament received direct passes to the Games next year, while five teams finishing the European championship in the places from three to seven entered the final qualifying stage for the Olympics.

The Russian national team failed to clear the group stage of the 2015 FIBA EuroBasket and subsequently lost its chance of traveling to Brazil next year.

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