SPORTS

Olympiakos hires new hoops coach

Olympiakos Piraeus coach Ilias Zouros has resigned, the basketball club announced yesterday, following two consecutive losses in league games. «Cooperation between Olympiakos and Zouros has terminated by mutual consent,» a club statement said. Yugoslav-born Slobodan Subotic, a former coach for Panathinaikos, has agreed to replace Zouros. His contract will run until the end of the 2003-2004 season, Olympiakos announced yesterday. Zouros, 35, Olympiakos’s coach since June 2000, stepped down after defeats to archrival Athens clubs Panathinaikos and AEK in Greece’s A1 Basketball league. Olympiakos dropped to fourth place in the 14-team standings with 24 points after 14 games. AEK heads the standings with 27 points, followed by Panathinaikos with 26 and Iraklis with 25. Olympiakos and Panathinaikos are annually the major contenders for the league championship. Olympiakos last won the title in 1997, their fifth consecutive championship. Panathinaikos has won the championship during the past four seasons. The Piraeus club won the European basketball title in 1997, and is currently third in group A of the Euroleague with an 8-3 record. In a nail-biting match Wednesday, Olympiakos beat Spain’s Unicaja Malaga 81-80, clinching victory with a two-pointer by American forward Alfonso Ford six seconds before the end of the game. (AP, Kathimerini)