“Astana” Presidential Basketball Club extended the contract with the team's head coach Emil Rajkovic for two more seasons. Right after the signing of the agreement, the Macedonian specialist gave an interview to the club’s press service.- Congratulations on continuing cooperation with the club. Who initiated the renewal of the contract?
Emil Rajkovic is a former Macedonian professional basketball player. He started his coaching career in 2006 as a coach of the Macedonian club «KK Feni Industries» (2006 — 2013), also headed the coaching staff of «KK Rabotnicki» from Macedonia (2013/2014) and the Polish «Wroclaw» (2014 — 2016). Four times he was recognized as «Coach of the Year» in the championship of Macedonia from 2008 to 2014. In the Polish league, he was recognized as the “Coach of the year” for the last two years in 2017 and in 2018. With the Macedonian team, “KK Feni Industries” he won the Balkan league in 2011. In Europe, Emil Rajkovic is known as an uncompromising and innate winner. He is one from that well-known group of new generation coaches from the former Republic of Yugoslavia, who are predicted to have a great future. In addition to high coaching, qualifications is a great motivator and well versed in sports psychology.
Under the leadership of a 40-year-old Macedonian specialist, “Astana” held the best season in its history of participation in VTB League. In the 2018/19 championship, the Kazakhstan team recorded a total of 15 wins (57.7% — also the best result), which allowed it to take 6th place in the season. Also for the first time in the history of the League, PBC “Astana” had a positive balance of scored and missed points on average following the results of the regular season (+2.7). In March, the capital basketball players beat their own record for the number of victories in the regular season — 13, and after success in the game with “Enisey”, they showed the best result in the percentage of matches won — 60. The team from the capital of Kazakhstan taught everyone to fight until the last seconds. Quite often, PBC “Astana” started the meeting not too successfully, but thanks to the changes that the coaching staff introduced during the game, the team managed to recoup and collect strong-willed victories.
Rajkovic’s tactical flexibility was shown not only during the matches but also during the whole season. So, Anthony Clemmons played at a high level in December and received the MVP award of the month in the League, after which the defender struggled for a bit. After a minor crisis, PBC “Astana” returned onto the victorious path, and other players, JJ O'Brien and Kenneth Horton, were already leaders. Emil Rajkovic is the main reason for the rise of Capital team in the current season.
Emil Rajkovic’s contribution to the team’s progress did not go unnoticed and he was recognized as the best coach of the VTB United League Championship season 2018/2019. The award ceremony took place in Nur-Sultan before the third match of the quarter final of the play-off series between PBC “Astana” and “Khimki” (Moscow Region). The prize was presented to the coach by the Secretary-General of the National Basketball Federation of the Republic of Kazakhstan — Alen Tanatarov and the General Manager of “Astana”, Olympic Champion Valeriy Tikhonenko.
As for the success of Emil Raikovich’s players in Kazakhstan tournaments, under his leadership, Astana won its 7th Kazakh Cup and the main achievement was the 7th Champions title in the Kazakhstan National League, thanks to which Astana became the most decorated men's team of the country.
The general partner is the Samruk-Kazyna National Welfare Fund. Social Partner — Samruk-Kazyna Trust Social Projects Development Fund