By Lefteris Moutis/ email@example.com
The man of the hour in the news of Turkish basketball is undoubtedly Ufuk Sarica. Karsiyaka’s coach led his team to the championship finals knocking out Zeljko Obradovic’s Fenerbahce and his future is quite interesting.
The 42yearold coach and veteran Turkish international basketball player exhibited some excellent work in the last three years with Karsiyaka and led them to the finals for the first time after 28 whole years! Furthermore, in Sarica’s days Karsiyaka were knocked out in the last two seasons in the semifinals of the Turkish championship, they won the Cup last year, they competed in the Eurochallenge final the year before last, and in the quarterfinals of the Eurocup this year.
His work is clearly excellent for a team from Izmir with no real basketball tradition. However, as the years went by Sarica’s contract went up and next season it is predicted that he will receive one million euros! The amount is very big and there was the consideration by the administration to negotiate in order to lower his contract. If no solution were reached then the possibility of removing him from his position would have been very likely.
All this however, seems to be overturned after the qualification over Fenerbahce. The view of Karsiyaka’s management regarding Sarica did not change, because in any case it was positive. However, this qualification makes the team from Smyrna a favorite for getting a wild card participation for next season’s Euroleague, since Efes and Fenerbahce have secured a place in the groups.
The Euroleague still hasn’t decided and this is why in the fourth game against Fenerbahce Karsiyaka’s fans expressed their request for the wild card through a banner. The competitive action and the stability of the team in recent years can give Karsiyaka their first participation in the Euroleague and in this way Ufuk Sarica can stay put without any special frictions. Besides, the 42yearold coach deserves this distinction. He started his coaching career in Besiktas mainly as an assistant, he then tried his luck in Efes as an assistant for three years and as head coach in 2011-12, but his work with Karsiyaka shows that he really does have a future at the highest coaching level in Europe.