The Croat Dario Gjergja is the new coach of the Belgian Lions, the national basketploeg at the men. He follows Eddy Casteels, who last week Sunday, his departure announced after the miss of the world cup 2019. The 42-year-old Gjergja remains at the same time, a trainer of champion and cup winner Ostend. The goal is the qualification for the european CHAMPIONSHIPS in 2021.
“I want to be in the first instance, the Belgian basketball federation thank you for the confidence,” says Gjergja Wednesday. “Secondly, I want to coach Eddy congratulate with the work that he has for the past thirteen years has delivered for the Belgian basketball. He did that with a lot of respect and dedication. I promise that we with the whole group this work would continue and go looking for the qualification for Eurobasket 2021.”
Jacques Stas, sports manager at the federation, explains the choice for Gjergja. “It was important, after the decision of coach Eddy Casteels to respond immediately. We were looking for a coach that the Belgian basketball through and through and think that we with Dario Gjergja is the right man to have found them. Coach Dario will be the U20 at the european CHAMPIONSHIP in Sofia, bulgaria visits and will contact the current assistants Roel Moors, Serge Crevecoeur and Thierry Declercq to see if they are still available.”
Gjergja coach BC Oostende since 2011. He won with the kustploeg seven titles and six cups in a row, and was three times voted Coach of the Year.
The road to the european CHAMPIONSHIPS 2021 start for the Belgian Lions on september 13, with a duel in the pre-against Portugal. The other opponent in the group is Iceland. The group champion is placed directly on the qualifications of Eurobasket 2021.
Eddy Casteels guided the national team to four european CHAMPIONSHIPS in a row (2011, 2013, 2015 and 2017), with as best result a ninth place finish at the european CHAMPIONSHIPS 2013 in Slovenia. This year was the ambition for the first time a world cup ticket to enforce, but failed. Decided Casteels.