Karsiyaka without head coach Ufuk Sarica in next two BCL games

By Johnny Askounis/ [email protected]

The Basketball Champions League suspended Pinar Karsiyaka head coach Ufuk Sarica for the next two games, the team confirmed on Tuesday.

Sarica, 49, will not be leading the Turkish club against Baxi Manresa tonight, Tuesday. As a result of the imposed sanction, he will also miss the visit to Manresa, next on the Champions League schedule planned to be held on 9 November.

The experienced play-caller was initially fined following the loss, 64-59, to Hereda San Pablo Burgos in the championship game of 2021 Final Eight held in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia. The Turkish team intends to use legal rights for both the extent of the penalty and the delay of its announcement, as noted in the press release.

Karsiyaka being held to the runner-up status in the 2020-21 Champions League season brought back memories from the 2012-13 season and being edged by Krasnye Krylia, 77-76, in the FIBA EuroChallenge final. Major roster upgrades, namely adding reigning BCL MVP Bonzie Colson during the offseason, have Sarica and fans hoping to finally win a European cup this season.

A 2-0 start in Group B with an away win over Hapoel Bank Yahav Jerusalem and a home win versus Arged BM Slam Stal Ostrow Wielkopolski makes out an early jump toward the goal. However, the head coach handed a suspension forcing him out of Regular Season Round 3 and Regular Season Round 4 can’t be considered another positive.

Karsiyaka is also 4-1 in Turkey’s BSL sharing the current lead with Fenerbahce Beko and fellow BCL participant Tofas Bursa. The lone loss, 78-77, came at the hands of defending Turkish Airlines EuroLeague champion, Anadolu Efes, on 10 October.

Photo Credit: Basketball Champions League

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