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Simone Pianigiani (ITA)
ITA/TUR - Pianigiani tenure at Fener is over

ISTANBUL (EuroBasket/FIBA Basketball World Cup) - Simone Pianigiani hardly put a foot wrong in his long and successful stint with Montepaschi Siena, beginning in the 2006-07 campaign and ending after last season.

Though glory in the Euroleague escaped him, not much else did as he turned Mens Sana into one of the most successful clubs in Italian basketball history.

Handed the reins to Fenerbahce Ulker in the summer of 2012, Pianigiani has held them for just several months.

Just days after his team's 99-60 home drubbing by Barcelona in the Top 16 of the Euroleague, and before the team's BEKO Basketbol Ligi game against Besiktas on Monday night, the 43-year-old has waved good-bye to the Turkish giants.

According to Fenerbahce, Pianigiani has left for personal reasons.

In comments published in a club statement, Pianigiani said: "I would like to thank Fenerbahce Ulker, one of the most prestigious clubs in Europe, for its support. I am proud to have been part of the family of Fenerbahce Ulker Istanbul."

In Italy, Pianigiani was the premier tactician in the land.

His teams rolled to six Lega A crowns in a row, and four Coppa Italia.

He steered Montepaschi into the Euroleague Final Four on two occasions, but title success in that competition eluded him.

At Fenerbahce, Pianigiani was allowed to sign Bo McCalebb, David Andersen and Romain Sato, players who had been instrumental in his achievements in Siena.

The team did win the Turkish Cup recently, with Australia international Andersen the Cup MVP, yet Pianigiani was unable to work at the event because of illness.

He remains the coach of Italy's national team and will lead them in Slovenia at the EuroBasket, a qualifying tournament for the FIBA Basketball World Cup.

Among their opponents will be a national side that his Azzurri beat twice last summer and one that includes Fenerbahce players, Turkey.

Italy will also take on Russia, Greece, Finland and Sweden.

Under Pianigiani, the Italians won all eight of their games last summer in the Qualification Round.


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