Basketball coach Tuomas Isalo led Basketball to victory in the Champions League and is the strongest candidate for coach of the year in Finland, writes Juha Kanerva.
The World Ice Hockey Championships have become a carnival in Finland, trumping all other sporting events in the media.
Especially if the games are held on Finnish soil.
It’s unfortunate, because anything happens in different sports in different parts of the world in May.
And Finnish athletes and coaches have also been on fire in various events. For example, on the volleyball side, Rusa Koskelo, coached by Loima Janko, celebrated the German Championship for the third time in Stuttgart’s ranks.
A great achievement from a player whom the national team coach doesn’t care about for the blue and white bunch, because no one wants to give freedom apart from the national team’s camp schedule.
Toomas Isalo, whose coach Basket Bon won the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) Champions League, was responsible for an even more impressive performance at the weekend. The Final Four tournament was played in Málaga, where Bon defeated Unicaja Málaga, the pre-favourite host team of the tournament, in the semi-finals on Friday.
Hapoel Jerusalem met in the final, having ousted Sasu Salín’s Lenovo Tenerife in the other semi-final.
READ MORE: Finnish coach on sensational achievement: “Something I couldn’t even dream of”
The final match was played on Sunday, but was also scheduled for Saturday. Then the gala ceremony of the FIBA Champions League was held, where the best of the season were rewarded.
Bonn, the first German team to make it to the final of the Champions League, entered the awards table as the team’s playmaker TJ Shorts was selected as player of the season and head coach Isalo as coach of the season. was chosen.
A few weeks ago, the same doubles team was crowned with a similar title in the German Bundesliga.
Isalo stressed in Saturday’s press conference that if the team plays at its level, it will do well in the final. The level of requirements set by the Finnish pilot is so high that, according to the players, training sessions are tougher than matches.
On Sunday, Bonn returned to everyday life in a team-typical way and won the final with a convincing performance.
Aisalo swears by collective action in his coaching philosophy, and he has instilled in his players a belief in the joy of collective power.
Bonn has an excellent talent search network, thanks to which they have been able to acquire players from all over the world who are not suitable for others.
Bonn’s spending budget for this season is €6.5 million, while German powerhouses Alba Berlin (€14 million) and Bayern Munich (€25 million) operate with much bigger bets.
In Bonn’s shirt, these “nameless” gamblers have greatly increased their status as well as their market value. The cost of success can be heavy. Bonn players will certainly be showered with offers that may be hard to refuse.
At the same time, the team’s main sponsor, Telekom Deutschland, has announced that it will cut its support by one million euros. The team gets the same amount for winning the Champions League, but more euros will be needed to keep the best players in the hometown of composer Ludwig van Beethoven.
Isalo’s continuity is also at stake. The 40-year-old coaching guru’s contract expires in the summer, and there are surely plenty of takers.
According to German media, the great and mighty Bayern Munich are also interested in Isalo. In Champions League matches, Bonn has shown his excellent team play in Spain, France, Italy, Turkey, Greece and Lithuania, so the Finn’s pedantic coaching style is well known outside Germany.
It would not be surprising if Isalo was to coach a club playing at a tougher level than the Champions League next season. In basketball, this refers to the Euroleague, an elite league founded by the continent’s leading clubs.
Bonn’s season doesn’t end with the talk of Malaga’s party, as the Bundesliga playoffs begin on Wednesday, where they face Chemnitz in the first round.
The German championship attracts players from the former capital, and especially the club management. Bonn has made the finals five times, but has never won the national championship. Now is a great opportunity for this.
How is the success created by Isalo reflected in Finland? The general public hardly knows them, and sports journalists don’t really follow European basketball leagues.
Ice hockey is played in Harma, but basketball is a much bigger and more followed sport in the world.
Coaches’ appreciation is measured at the end of the year, when journalists vote for the Coach of the Year. Last year, Isalo was one of five candidates and finished fourth in the poll.
Jukka Jalonen, who led the Lions to Olympic victory and the World Championships, came out on top. This year, Jalonen will fall from his pedestal even though Finland celebrates the World Championships in Tampere.
Tuomas Iisalo’s international record is so strong and historic that not even the Javelin Throw World Championships can prevent him from being voted Coach of the Year.
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