7DAYS EuroCup Coach of the Year: Erdem Can, Turk Telekom Ankara
Turk Telekom Ankara's Erdem Can has been rewarded for his impressive coaching performances this season by being voted the 2022-23 Coach of the Year by his fellow 7DAYS EuroCup head coaches.

In his first year as Turk Telekom boss, Can guided the team to a 13-5 regular-season record and has since led the side to the EuroCup Final following three come-from-behind wins in the playoffs. The Turkish club will visit Gran Canaria on Wednesday for a do-or-die showdown with a place in next season's Turkish Airlines EuroLeague up for grabs.

The Coach of the Year award is among several trophies handed out to recognize the outstanding work achieved by some EuroCup participants during the 2022-23 EuroCup season. All 20 head coaches involved in this season's competition voted for the Coach of the Year honor. The Rising Star Trophy, also voted by the head coaches, was won for the second time by Aleksander Balcerowski of Gran Canaria. The All-EuroCup Teams and the 2022-23 MVP – for whom coaches, team captains, fans and media all vote – will be announced before the EuroCup Final.

Prior to this season, the 42-year-old Can had spent 10 years as an assistant, working under Neven Spahija (2012-13), Zeljko Obradovic (2013-20) and Igor Kokoskov (2020-21) at Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul, and under Quin Snyder (2021-22) at Utah of the NBA, before taking the Turk Telekom job. In his hometown of Ankara, where Can began his career as an assistant coach, he has utilized his vast experience to take Turk Telekom to the next level. Despite having had to integrate a whole host of new faces into the roster this season, Can has his team one step away from its first EuroLeague appearance since 1998.

Turk Telekom began the season with a surprise defeat to Paris Basketball before reeling off five straight wins – against Veolia Towers Hamburg, Hapoel Vegan Friendly Tel Aviv, Slask Wroclaw, Dolomiti Energia Trento and Promitheas Patras – as it improved to a 5-1 record and announced itself a major threat in this year's EuroCup. After a spell in which the team went 3-3 between Rounds 7 and 12, Turk Telekom ended the regular season strong with another 5-1 run, which allowed it to wrap up second spot in Group B.

Then, in the playoffs, Coach Can's team was up and down against Germani Brescia in the eighthfinals, with the lead changing hands throughout the contest. Brescia led at halftime, 36-38, but a convincing fourth-quarter performance allowed Turk Telekom to wrap up a 77-69 victory. The task at hand went up a notch in the quarterfinals, with ratiopharm Ulm leading 50-57 entering the final period, but a 36-19 quarter by Turk Telekom powered it to an 86-76 triumph. It looked as though the story was going to repeat itself in the semifinals, with Prometey Slobozhanske racing out to a 25-16 lead after the first quarter, but Coach Can ensured that his side kept its cool. Turk Telekom won the second quarter 13-25 to take a 38-41 halftime lead. Prometey edged the second half, 36-35, but Turk Telekom had done enough to book its place in the EuroCup Final, sparking scenes of jubilation at the final buzzer.

Can is the second Turkish coach to be named the EuroCup Coach of the Year, following the first-ever recipient of the award: Oktay Mahmuti of Benetton Treviso in 2009. This is also the second successive year that a coach from a Turkish club has earned this honor, as Dusan Alimpijevic of Frutti Extra Bursaspor was recognized for his team's EuroCup Final appearance in 2022. Aito Garcia Reneses is the only coach to have won the award twice, having done so with Gran Canaria in 2015 and ALBA Berlin in 2019.

The other previous winners were Ilias Zouros of Panellinios in 2010, Aleksandar Petrovic of Cedevita Zagreb in 2011, Jure Zdovc of Spartak St. Petersburg in 2012, Fotis Katsikaris of Uxue Bilbao Basket in 2013, Andrea Trinchieri of UNICS Kazan in 2014, Maurizio Buscaglia of Dolomiti Energia Trento in 2016, Pedro Martinez of Valencia Basket in 2017, Sasa Obradovic of Lokomotiv Kuban in 2018 and Zvezdan Mitrovic of AS Monaco in 2021.

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