|07 June 2012|
|After having coached Poland at EuroBasket 2011, Ales Pipan hopes to lead the team to another EuroBasket.|
Ales Pipan has received a big thumbs-up for the job he has done as coach of Poland by finally having his contract extended until the end of EuroBasket 2013.
The former Slovenia national team boss took a Polish team without star centers Marcin Gortat and Maciej Lampe to EuroBasket 2011 in Lithuania and steered it to victories in two of its five games.
Among the victories was an upset of Turkey, the beaten finalists at the World Championship in 2010.
Pipan had been told months ago that he would be retained and now it's official.
"It's important to me that I could continue a job (that began) last year," Pipan said.
"This past summer, we didn't have too much time, but now most of us already know what we can expect from each other and what we need to be successful together.
"This year, there will be some new players, but it's always easier to adjust to a small group of people than to create everything from scratch."
The NBA Lockout ultimately prevented Gortat from playing last year as it put the burden of paying for his insurance on the Polish federation.
Both he and Lampe have committed to playing for Poland in the Qualification Round, when they go up against Finland, Switzerland, Albania and Belgium in Group E.
Their first game is at home to Belgium on 15 August.
Polish Basketball Federation president Grzegorz Bachanski says that Pipan's contract extension was a mere formality.
"We had come to an agreement already last year," he said.
"After a good performance of our (coaching) staff at the EuroBasket in Lithuania, we found that it was the best solution for the team.
"The aim for this summer is certainly to reach the EuroBasket in Slovenia."