Previous head coach returning to dragons
BC Tsmoki-Minsk ends Lithuanian specialist Donaldas Kairys’ contract as head coach
By Yegor Glebov
The contract has been terminated by mutual consent, with Donaldas Kairys’ assistant, Arvydas Straupis, also leaving the Belarusian basketball club. Andrey Krivonos is to return as head coach of the ‘dragons’, having headed the capital’s team from 2008 to 2013. He led them to five championship titles and four victories in the national Cup.
Under the direction of Donaldas Kairys, Tsmoki-Minsk won the Cup of Belarus and, for the first time in the history of Belarusian basketball, reached the quarterfinal of the continental EuroChallenge. One round before the end of the second group stage, the champions of Belarus faced Russian BC Ural from Yekaterinburg, having defeated Danish BC Aarhus and Finnish BC Kotka. In the final round of Group L, at Minsk-Arena, Tsmoki beat Denmark’s Bakken Bears confidently — 89:51.
However, in the VTB United League, the team saw less success, suffering eight defeats in succession after an initial six victories at the beginning of the season. Now, in preliminary Group B of the VTB League, the Moscow Region’s Khimki leads, with 15 victories. The Minsk players will face the squad away, on March 8th. They’ll then go on to play three more matches in the preliminary stage: on March 16th at home — against BC Triumph from Lyubertsy; and on March 21st and 24th away — against BC Krasny Oktyabr from Volgograd and then against BC Krasnye Krylia from Samara. The Minsk basketballers now hold 7th to 10th place, alongside Samara, BC Azovmash from Mariupol, and BC Neptūnas from Klaipėda (all with four victories).