Due in part to the 89-55 throttling at the hands of FC Barcelona this week and in great part to Zalgiris Kaunas’ poor 1-7 showing in Euroleague play in 2009, Gintaras Krapikas stepped down as head coach, effective immediately. And so ends Krapikas’ third stint with the team in various capacities as player and coach.
Currently, Darius Maskoliūnas is serving as interim coach, but apparently is not the club’s medium-term choice to hold onto the position.
So who steps in? As this source reports, the Zalgiris front office may reap from a handful of homegrown choices readily available. Candidates for the job may include the following:
• Rimas Girskis, who has an impressive CV as an international and professional club coach, if at a bit lower level; Girskis resigned from Ukrainian Super League team Azovmash Mariupol in November of this year.
• Ramunas Butautas, the former Team Lithuania coach who just left a post with Ukraine’s Donetsk.
• Kestutis Kemzūra, former Team Latvia and current Team Lithuania coach last seen on professional courts with BC Khimki in 2008.
• Jonas Kazlauskas, a guy who parlayed mid-decade success with Olympiacos and Team China into his current position as Team Greece head coach.
The knee-jerk reaction/prediction: Zalgiris makes a play for Kazlauskas but gets Girskis.