Real Madrid Baloncesto head coach Pablo Laso has been chosen as the Alexander Gomelskiy EuroLeague Coach of the Year for the 2017/18 season.
The Spanish tactician guided Baloncesto to the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague and Spanish ACB Liga titles during the 2017/18 campaign.
Laso, who is a retired point guard, has been in charge of the Spanish giants since 2011.
The 50-year-old trainer also led Baloncesto to the championship of the 2015 edition of the FIBA Intercontinental Cup.
EuroLeague released the following statement:
"This is the second time Laso has won the esteemed trophy. He joins a select club of elite coaches with multiple Gomelskiy Coach of the Year awards made up by Ettore Messina and Zeljko Obradovic, the latter of whom Laso played for in the 1990s and now defeated in this season's Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Championship Game. Laso won his first Gomelskiy Coach of the Year award in 2015."
"The Alexander Gomelskiy EuroLeague Coach of the Year award is voted on by the 16 head coaches of the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague teams, with the stipulation that no coach vote for himself. Laso edged Sarunas Jasikevicius of Zalgiris Kaunas in the closest vote for the award on record. Fenerbahce Dogus Istanbul's Obradovic placed third followed by Pedro Martinez of KIROLBET Baskonia Vitoria Gasteiz."
"This was the seventh season Laso spent on the Madrid bench and in many ways, it was both his most challenging and most rewarding. It was destined to be difficult even before training camp commenced after the previous season's MVP, Sergio Llull, was to a knee injury. Instead of looking elsewhere for a replacement, Laso turned to his bench and 2017 EuroLeague Rising Star Luka Doncic. A former point guard himself, Laso empowered Doncic to lead the way and all the while worked with the teenage prodigy and backcourt mate Facu Campazzo to maximize their talents and to better the team."
"In the meantime, the Madrid frontline was also devastated by injuries and Walter Tavares was signed. The center was unlike any other on the roster, however, Laso was able to seamlessly integrate Tavares and later have him work beautifully alongside the rest of the Madrid bigs when the roster was again healthy. In addition to getting the most of his players even with constant lineup reconstruction, including the return of Llull midway through the EuroLeague Playoffs, Laso proved to be an expert motivator."
"Some teams might have crumbled after losing Game 1 of a playoff series by 28 points, however, when that happened to Laso and Madrid, he had his charges ready for Game 2 against Panathinaikos Athens. Madrid evened the series on the road and won Games 3 and 4 at home to win the series, advance to the Final Four in Belgrade and, eventually, celebrate a memorable title,” a statement read.