Banchi expected to leave AEK after disappointing season
After a bitter exit to Promitheas in the Basket League semi-finals, AEK BC are preparing to ring the changes this summer, with Ilias Papatheodorou set to replace Luca Banchi at the helm.
In recent months, AEK’s season has completely fallen apart, losing to Brose Bamberg in the quarter-finals of the Basketball Champions League and conceding a heartbreaking defeat against Promitheas in the Basket League semi-finals. Over the course of the last few months, the Kitrinomavri’s performance has dropped considerably after an initial positive start to the campaign, and Luca Banchi has been held accountable by the management. It’s predicted that Banchi, 53, will be relieved of his duties upon the completion of his contract this summer.
AEK are currently playing Peristeri BC in the third place playoff of the Basket League.
The favourite to replace Banchi is PAOK head coach, Ilias Papatheodorou. Engulfed by mounting financial problems, PAOK endured a tough season in Greece, suffering a first-round exit in the playoffs to Promitheas with only six professional players available to play. Nevertheless, Papatheodorou is admired by AEK, and club owner Makis Angelopoulos is eager to secure his signature.
AEK are also keen on maintaining Vince Hunter on their books. According to reports, EuroLeague clubs are interested in signing Hunter in the off-season, but AEK will do all they can to persuade the 24-year-old American to stay in Athens. Overall, Hunter has averaged 13 points, 5.29 rebounds and 1.29 assists in 35 Basket League appearances this season.