Hapoel Jerusalem hand reins to Adomaitis as Kattash heads to PAO
JERUSALEM (Israel) - Hapoel Bank Yahav Jerusalem have hired former Lithuanian national team play-caller Dainius Adomaitis to replace Oded Kattash as their head coach, the club announced on Thursday.
Kattash, who is also the head coach of the Israeli national team, is set to assume the reins of Greek powerwhouse Panathinaikos, the club where he finished his career as a player nearly two decades earlier, Hapoel Jerusalem have also confirmed.
תודה עודד— Hapoel Jerusalem B.C (@JerusalemBasket) January 13, 2021
אנחנו אוהבים אותך ♥️ pic.twitter.com/qoUio4GBLL
The three-year tenure of Adomaitis as Lithuania head coach ended after the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup, in China.
At club level, the 47-year-old Lithuanian coach last worked at Rytas Vilnius and departed the Lithuanian club in June 2020 after two years at the helm, having lifted a national cup trophy.
Kattash sat on the Hapoel Jerusalem bench for the last time on Wednesday night, but his farewell had a bitter flavor as the reds abolished a 19-point lead and fell 78-77 to Turk Telekom in BCL Group G action.
Welcome to Hapoel Coach 🚩🚩🚩 pic.twitter.com/YkQu6L3cQV— Hapoel Jerusalem B.C (@JerusalemBasket) January 14, 2021
"It is a very tough loss, because this was an important game for Hapoel's campaign in the BCL. I hope the guys win in France and qualify to the Play-Offs," Kattash said after the game.
Hapoel need to beat Limoges on the road on the final gameday in order to keep alive their hopes of advancing to the Play-Offs.
"Today [Wednesday] I am closing a huge chapter of my career and it would be easier to say goodbye if we had won the game. I feel blessed for having worked at Hapoel, the management embraced me from the fist moment and they, together with the players and the fans, have been very understanding about my decision to return to Panathinaikos," Kattash added.
"I need to say a big thanks to everybody at this club because during these past three years we built something great here, for which I will forever be proud and I will forever consider these people as my family."
Kattash took the reins of Hapoel Jerusalem in 2018 and led them to two Israeli cup trophies, as well as to the BCL Quarter-Finals in both the 2018-19 and 2019-20 editions of the competition.