Allon sinai 88.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Just last month it seemed as though Ya'acov Jino's days as Ironi Nahariya coach were numbered.
Despite the high expectations the team lost five of its first seven BSL games and, in a league in which six coaches lost their job with the season less than half-way through, it looked to be all but inevitable that Jino would be the next to go.
However, the Nahariya management shunned the temptation to fire its coach and is now reaping the rewards.
The 44-year-old Jino is one of Israel's most promising coaches.
Despite beginning his coaching career in 1985, Jino had to wait until 2003 to get his chance in the top division.
Bnei Hasharon gave him the coaching reins for the 2003/04 season and Jino repaid the club by guiding it to a fourth place finish.
In the 2004/05 season he returned to an assistant role, joining Maccabi Tel Aviv to work under Pini Gershon.
After returning to Bnei Hasharon the next season, Jino left to coach in Europe, guiding CSKA Sofia for several months before moving on to Leuven of Belgium where he remained until the end of last season.
Despite his impressive coaching credentials, however, almost everyone expected Nahariya to sack its coach early on.
Jino's side seemed to be in disarray and with little money to make changes to the roster, the only significant move left for the management to do was to replace its coach.
However, Nahariya decided to opt for patience rather than rashness.
Jino has since led the side to three wins in its last four league games and the team will play in the State Cup semifinals in three weeks time after getting the better of Maccabi Tel Aviv and Bnei Hasharon in earlier rounds.
Perhaps his greatest achievement, however, was holding the team together after Katyusha rockets fired from Lebanon hit Nahariya three weeks ago.
All the team's American players were adamant about not returning to the northern city and, with the club struggling to even pay its players on time, it seemed as though Jino was in a hopeless position.
But the coach guided his team through the difficult period, and all but one player remained at the club.
Ironi then received a loan from the BSL, and now that the financial and security situations have settled, the future is looking bright for the club.
The close games it lost at the beginning of the season are now going its way and the tough times have helped the roster gel into the team Jino had envisioned at the start of the season.
Aaron McGhee, Ron Lewis and Raviv Limonad are all hitting top form and the side has scored more than 90 points in each of its last six games in all competitions.
Nahariya ignored the calls for Jino's head when it was easiest to concede to them and fully deserves the success he is now bringing to the club.
By sticking with Jino, Nahariya has shown a quality severally lacking in Israeli sport or as Roman playwright Plautus put it more than 2,000 years ago: "Patience is the best remedy for every trouble."
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