Head coach signs for two more

August 4, 2022 BY

Staying put: Mark Alabakov will continue as head coach of the Bendigo Braves Women, signing on until the end of the 2024 season. Photo: JONATHON MAGRATH

MARK Alabakov isn’t going anywhere soon, signing on as senior coach of the Bendigo Braves women until the end of the 2024 Cole Express NBL1 South season.

Under Alabakov, the Braves have a 30 to five win-loss record, and his focus on development within the Bendigo program has already yielded success.

“I love it here in Bendigo, I love the Braves and I feel very proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish this season,” he said.

“I’d love to be a fixture in Bendigo basketball for a long time and hopefully be the longest serving Braves coach in Braves history. That’s quite a legacy and a lofty goal but certainly one that I carry.”

Alabakov has been head coach since 2020 and was assistant coach at the Bendigo Spirit for the 2019-20 season.

A big focus of his time in Bendigo has been creating a developmental program that starts in the juniors and progresses to Big V and NBL1 South.

“We’ve blooded 15-plus new, emerging players through that pathway, had our Big V women be semi finalists this year and our NBL1 women are locked in for finals and currently sit on top of the NBL1 conference that resoundingly has the most WNBL and international talent in it,” Alabakov said.

The Braves women maintained their position at the top of the NBL1 South table with a three-point win over Mount Gambier last weekend.

Cassidy McLean led the team with 26 points while Megan McKay notched a double-double with 17 points and 14 rebounds.

Meanwhile, the Braves Men’s winning streak came to an end, suffering a five-point defeat to the Pioneers despite a valiant effort led by Kuany Kuany with 31 points.