Greek coach Fotis Katsikaris was fired by Hapoel Jerusalem and replaced by assistant Mody Maor..
(photo credit: DANNY MARON)
Hapoel Jerusalem sacked coach Fotis Katsikaris on Thursday, bringing his tenure to an end just one month into the season. Top assistant Mody Maor was surprisingly named as his replacement.
This will be Maor's first head coaching job. Maor was also an assistant under coach Simone Pianigiani last season, and before that
was on the staff of Tzvika Sherf at Maccabi Ashdod and Lior Lubin at Hapoel Holon.
Jerusalem's 91-81 defeat to Galatasaray in Eurocup action on Wednesday left it with a single win from five games in the regular season and in serious danger of missing out on a place in the Top 16, one season after reaching the semifinals.
The mistakes Hapoel and Katsikaris made in building the roster during the summer put the Greek coach in a difficult position from the start and matters quickly deteriorated. Star guard Curtis Jerrells was shockingly cut two weeks ago after publicly criticizing the coach, but that did little to settle a disgruntled dressing room.
Hapoel, which has a 4-1 record in the BSL and hosts Ironi Ness Ziona in local league action on Saturday, welcomes Lietkabelis Panevezys of Lithuania in the Eurocup next Wednesday before playing three of its final four games on the road, including against Buducnost, Bayern Munich and Galatasaray, who all won in Jerusalem.