Basketball-Katsikaris to replace Blatt as Russia coach

Reuters Middle East

MOSCOW, Dec 23 (Reuters) - Greece's Fotis Katsikaris is set to become coach of the Russian men's basketball team and will share coaching duties with his current job at Spanish club Bilbao Berri.

"It was his decision to do both jobs," president of the Russian basketball federation (RBF) Alexander Krasnenkov told reporters on Sunday.

"He'll coach Russia over the summer, then return to his Spanish club. We didn't insist on him working only in Russia."

Katsikaris, 45, is expected to sign a contract with Russia through to the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro when he is approved by the RBF's executive board on Monday.

He replaces American-born Israeli David Blatt, who quit as Russian men's coach in October after guiding them to the Olympic bronze medal in London.

In his first coaching spell in Russia in 2005, Katsikaris guided Dynamo St Petersburg to third place in the domestic league before the club went bankrupt at the start of the new season, forcing the Greek to seek a job in Spain. (Reporting by Gennady Fyodorov, Editing by Tom Pilcher)

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