Ainars Bagatskis is set to guide Maccabi Tel Aviv in Wednesday’s BSL game against Maccabi Ki-ryat Gat, with the club’s ownership backtracking from its initial decision to fire him..
(photo credit: ADI AVISHAI)
Ainars Bagatskis will continue as the coach of Maccabi Tel Aviv for the time being, with the club’s ownership eventually deciding that his sacking would result in more harm than good.
The Latvian seemed set to be fired following the embarrassing 79-63 loss to Maccabi Haifa last Thursday night, a club record fifth consecutive BSL defeat. The yellow- and-blue lost its eighth game in a row over all competitions and Maccabi was in contact with several candidates with the intention of replacing Bagatskis.
Arik Shivek, Sharon Drucker and Tzvika Sherf were all mentioned as possible replacements, with sport director Nikola Vujcic updating Bagatskis on Friday night that his job could be on the line in Saturday’s ownership meeting.
Differences in the club’s fractured ownership regarding the wisdom of parting ways with another coach, which would be the third this season, and the right candidate to take his place resulted in a stalemate, keeping Bagatskis at the helm.
The Latvian will guide Maccabi in its next game against rock-bottom Maccabi Kiryat Gat on Wednesday, with the team traveling to Ein Gedi on Sunday for an impromptu three-day training camp.
Maccabi’s ownership is hoping the return of several players from injury can spark the team and get it back on track ahead of the playoffs. Guard Yogev Ohayon is set to return against Kiryat Gat, while D.J. Seeley could be back in action in the team’s following game against Ironi Nahari-ya next Wednesday. Andrew Goudelock, who hasn’t played for the team in the BSL for over two months due to injury, is expected back in Israel this week after recovering in the US and should return to the court during May.