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08 - 20
August 2017
Iraq name Erman Kunter as new head coach
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Iraq name Erman Kunter as new head coach

BAGHDAD (FIBA Asia Cup 2017) - The Iraqi Basketball Federation recently announced they have reached an agreement for Erman Kunter to be the new head coach of the senior men's national team.

In his younger days, Kunter was a notable player who saw action for several club teams like Besiktas and Fenerbahce before bringing his playing days to a close in 1992 and starting his coaching career.

He has helmed several clubs in the top leagues of Turkey and France, most recently coaching Le Mans Sarthe Basket in France's Ligue Nationale de Basket (LNB) Pro A, guiding the latter to the Pro A title in 2016.

He is best known for winning the Pro A crown on three occasions with legendary side Cholet Basket and recently returned to the top bench post at Galatasaray of the Basketbol Süper Ligi.

In Iraq, Kunter will have to handle a team seeking to continue their resurgence in Asian hoops. The Iraqis surprised many with their top 4 finish at the FIBA Asia Challenge 2016 and they continued to do well this year after placing ahead of Syria and Palestine in the WABA Championship 2017.

Some of the Iraqi talents expected to play key roles for Kunter at the FIBA Asia Cup 2017 are Ali Hamad, Ali Hameed, Mohammed Al-Khafaji and Dhulfiqar Al-Hchaimi. The Iraqis are looking for a naturalized player to reinforce the team, and the leading candidate right now is American Demario Mayfield, who most recently played for Al Nift Baghdad.

Iraq are grouped with China, Philippines and Qatar at the FIBA Asia Cup. They qualified for the first time in 30 years, and they are hoping for a good showing in preparation for the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Asia Qualifiers.