Zenit finds new coach in Plaza

Dec 22, 2018 by Eurocupbasketball.com Print
Zenit finds new coach in Plaza
Zenit St. Petersburg has appointed a new head coach, reaching a deal with head coach Joan Plaza, replacing Vasily Karasev as a head of the bench, the club announced on Saturday. Plaza, who will turn 55 later on this month, last coached Unicaja Malaga where he spent the last five seasons. Plaza is the only coach to reach the EuroCup Finals with three different teams - with Real Madrid in 2007, Cajasol Sevilla in 2011 and Unicaja in 2017. In his first season as elite head coach, Plaza led Madrid to win the Spanish League and the then-called ULEB Cup title in 2007. He also won his second EuroCup title with Unicaja, winning three playoffs series without the home court advantage against FC Bayern Munich, Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar and Valencia Basket to lift the trophy. Plaza has also coached Zalgiris Kaunas, leading it to the Lithuanian League title and reaching the VTB League semifinals in 2013. Plaza has a 36-19 EuroCup record (65.5%) and reached the finals in each of his three years in the competition. He has an 83-83 record in the EuroLeague (50%) in seven seasons on the benches of Madrid, Zalgiris and Unicaja. On Zenit's bench, Plaza now replaces Karasev, who coached the team from 2012, and has reached EuroCup quarterfinals with Zenit in each of the past two seasons. This season, however, Zenit finished the EuroCup regular season with 4-6 record in the fourth place in Group C, and enters the Top 16 having lost five of its last six games. Zenit opens its Top 16 campaign with a road game at UNICS Kazan.