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Aleks Maric leaves Turkey to play in Iran
Australian center Aleks Maric has signed to play with his third club to see out the 2014-15 season, inking a new deal with Iranian Superleague club Petrochimi Bandar Imam Harbour.
Aleks Maric - Credit Aykut Akici / Getty Images via Euroleague
The 211cm big man joins his new team after stints with 2014 Euroleague champions Maccabi Tel Aviv before being axed and then signing a short-term contract with another Euroleague team in Galatasaray Liv Hospital Istanbul in Turkey. Maric's signing in Iran contradicts rumours that he was poised to sign in Serbia with his former club Partizan Belgrade or Red Star.
Petrochimi currently boast a 4-1 record in the Iranian Superleague and are in 3rd place and will be boosted by the interior presence of the former Australian Boomer.
It was with Partizan during the 2009/10 season where Maric enjoyed a break-out season in Europe, his on court success culminating in being named to the prestigious All-Euroleague First Team after averaging 14.6 points and 8.4 rebounds per game. That same season, he helped guide Partizan to the Serbian Cup and the Adriatic League title.
Maric's performance in his one and only season with Partizan saw him targeted by the likes of European powerhouse clubs Panathinaikos Athens with whom he would spend the next two seasons, winning the Euroleague title in his first season. After also winning the Greek Basketball League title Greek Basketball Cup, he signed with Lokomotiv Kuban in Russia, playing in the VTB United League and help his team qualify for Euroleague via the Eurocup.
In 14 Euroleague games with Maccabi and Galatasaray this season, Maric provided 2.1 points and 2.6 rebounds in almost 10 minutes per game. In 3 Turkish Basketball League games he added 1 point and 1.7 rebounds in 6 minutes per outing.
The former Australian Boomer's move to Petrochimi in Iran could be considered a fall from grace from the well-travelled big man who has featured in the prestigious Euroleague and Eurocup competitions for the past 6 years. However given his lack of court time this past season at both Maccabi and Galatasaray, it could also just be the opportunity he needs to help resurrect his career.