Tabak named new Caja Laboral coach

Updated: 2012-11-20 20:05:00

(Xinhua)

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MADRID, November 20 (Xinhua) -- Top Spanish basketball club Caja Laboral have named Zan Tabak as the new coach to replace Dusko Ivanovich.

Ivanovich, who was in his second period as coach of the side based in the Basque city of Vitoria, was sacked almost immediately after his side's surprise home defeat against Blusens Monbus on Sunday with his team eighth in the domestic ACB Endesa League, although it is more likely Caja Laboral's poor performances in the EuroLeague where they are struggling to make it out of their group, was also a major factor.

Tabak, who is Croatian, dissolved his contract with Polish side, Trefi Sport on Monday afternoon and signed a contract with Caja Laboral until 2014. He will begin work with them this Tuesday, before making his debut as the club's new coach in Kaunas this Friday.

It is a game Caja Laboral have to win in order to have a realistic chance of making the Top-16 in the European competition. Meanwhile his debut in the ACB Endesa League is at home to Unicaja Malaga on Sunday.

Tabak has experience as a player in Spain, where he represented Real Madrid, Joventut and Unicaja Malaga, but is perhaps best known for his years in the NBA where he became the first non-American player to appear in two NBA finals, with the Houston Rockets and the Indiana Pacers.

The 42-year-old has limited coaching experience, with a brief stint in the Spanish second category with Girona, before his move to Poland at the start of 2012. As a result Caja Laboral's decision to make him their coach can be seen as somewhat of a gamble.