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 1. Al Kuwait 9-1 
 2. Kazma 9-1 
 3. Al Jahraa 8-2 
 4. Al Arabi 7-3 
 5. Al Qadsia 6-4 
 6. Al Nasar 6-4 
 7. Al Yarmook 4-6 
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 10. Al Shabab 1-9 
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Interviews

Interview with Toni Vujanic - Feb 12, 2018


POSTED BY:
GREG
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Toni Vujanic
Eurobasket.com had a pleasure to chat with one of the biggest coaching icons in last 10 years in Middle East and Asia, coach Toni Vujanic . He was awarded many times as Coach of the Year in different countries.

Coach Toni good day, how are you?

Greetings to Eurobasket, I am fine, thank you.

Coach you are coaching in Bahrain now, after leaving Kuwait. What was the reason?


Yes, I am in Bahrain since September 2017. I left Kuwait because I didn't see change to develop with my team and compete against Qadasiya-Kuwait and Jahra. Management didn't have ambitions to reinforce team after losing major 2-3 players. We had great season before, but that was it... it was really pitty because basketball in Kuwait and Kazma deserve better treatment and if they don't wake up on time, many GCC countries will pass them.

So, tell us why Al Riffa, team that didn't exists on basketball map in Bahrain?

Well, some things in life come unexpected and we can't control them. I booked and payed my own ticket back to Europe and on day of the fly, actually 700m before the airport I got a call from Riffa team asking me to come direct ... I accepted offer even it wasn't greatest, but more, I accepted challenge with young team and players that mostly never played in their teams and never played together.

Tell us about All Riffa and your outstanding import Marcel Jones?

Riffa is respected soccer club and basketball is new to everyone there. It's very "new" team in Bahrain basketball league that started the season very bad, after 4 days watching a tape and observing the games, I created my idea and decided how should I work. I signed very good import Marcel Jones that in beginning everyone was little skeptical, but after regular season he become top scorer of the league and so far for me, sure MVP of the league. Marcel is multi polar player with great speed and ball handling, very athletic and energetic young man with great basketball IQ. We worked 2 times a day very hard and slowly but sure we started to climb up on the list... when I came to Al Riffa, the team was sharing 9th and 10th position and we finished regular season on 4th spot.

Anything about local players?

Al Riffa locel players are group of unexperienced guys with great working attitude. Players hungry to learn and all "our" success is thanks to them and Marcel. Only capitan A. Gali, Ahmad Alo, Hussain Mossawi (that is injured), and M. Nabil have experience in Bahrain league, all the rest are the players that got not much chance in previous teams, but players with ability to learn and develop. Again, it's incredible to see how these guys develop and get better every single week. Big respect to them and my gratitude.

How is Bahrain and league down there?

Bahrain is a great country with supper infrastructure and organization. Teams as Manama and Muharraq and Ahly are very good organized basketball clubs. Federation under new President Shaik is growing fantastically and his visions are incredibly good for develop of basketball in Bahrain and GCC. I was till 2014 in Bahrain but now all is far much better and more structured and organized. I am supprised in changes and way how this President work. I am sure that the future of Bahrain basketball is bright. Only 3 things I would add: local players needs experience and games, every player should have 40+ games during the season before entering final stage; the league has lots of fans, some games of top teams are 3000 fans in gym and second import is "must", he would not kill the locals but he would bring taste and league would be so strong as some Top leagues in Asia; and last but not least - Bahrain has very "good" referees but should be more structured and better organized and paid.

Coach, what are your plans for the future?

I like Bahrain a lot but I have one year contract with Al Riffa and after April I am free... like all my colleagues I would like to make some project on long term .. working short term contract is very hard for any coach and needs lots of hard work and its tricky and unsecure. When you have 2 or 3 year contract you can build and create team and philosophy, short term's contracts maeans that club have no vision for the future and that your work depends on many different factors. So always open for new challenges.

Thank you Coach for this chate, anything you want to add?

I thank eurobasket.com for opportunity and this interview and hope you keep doing great work and promote the best game so fat. I thank my President, club and all my players for this season so far and hope that "sky is the limit" for us. Thanks once again!   




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Eurobasket.com had a pleasure to chat with one of the biggest coaching icons in last 10 years in Middle East and Asia, coach Toni Vujanic . He was awarded many times as Coach of the Year in different countries. Coach Toni good day, how are you? Greetings to Eurobasket, I am fine, thank you. Coach you are coaching in Bahrain now, after leaving Kuwait. What was the reason? Yes, I am in Bahrain since September 2017. I left Kuwait because I didn't see change to develop with my team an...   [read more]

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