Basketball / Russians Rapturous in Praise of Blatt After European Triumph

The Russian media rained its praises on Israeli coach David Blatt over the weekend after he led his team Dynamo St. Petersburg to the Europe League title Thursday night.

All the Russian papers stressed the fact that Blatt's incredible 20-0 record en route to the championship was all the more impressive given that the club was in its first year of existence in its current incarnation.

"Blatt has completely invalidated the theory that a club can not reach its pinnacle in its first year, " wrote Sovietski Sport, which called the former Maccabi Tel Aviv coach "one of the greatest coaches ever to work in Russia".

"Blatt is a sophisticated coach who has a response ready for any opponent's moves," wrote Sport Express. "After Blatt's phenomenal achievement, I don't think anyone will any longer cast any doubts on the gap in coaching standards between overseas and here in Russia," Sport Express added.

After the victory, the club's players described Blatt as an exceptional coach, while Dynamo president Vladmimir Radionov said the Europe League title was only the beginning. "Next year, we will go for the ULEB Cup and the Russian Superleague championship. With this coach, anything is possible," he said.