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Rainbow Warriors coach Ganot takes medical leave

In four seasons under Eran Ganot, the Rainbow Warriors have compiled a 77-48 record, including an NCAA Tournament appearance in 2016. AP file photo

The Maui News

University of Hawaii men’s basketball coach Eran Ganot is taking a temporary medical leave of absence, effective immediately, the school announced Wednesday.

The announcement was made just two days before the Rainbow Warriors open the season against Florida A&M in the Outrigger Resorts Rainbow Classic.

“Although it pains me to leave the team, there are certain health issues that I need to address,” Ganot said in a press release. “I have a plan and I will return. I appreciate my coaches, players and the administration and I look forward to returning to the court as soon as possible.”

Chris Gerlufsen will serve as acting head coach in Ganot’s absence.

“Our main concern is with Eran’s health. We’re here to support him and we look forward to his return,” UH athletic director David Matlin said. “Nobody loves this program more than Eran. Eran has created a strong culture with his staff and we both have full confidence in the ability of Chris, John (Montgomery), Jabari (Trotter) and Jesse (Nakanishi) to lead the team.”

Ganot has guided the Rainbow Warriors to a 77-48 record in his four seasons at UH, having produced the school’s fifth NCAA Tournament appearance and first win in 2016.

Hawaii is coming off an 18-13 season that ended with a loss to Long Beach State in the quarterfinals of the Big West tournament.

Tip-off for Friday’s game is set for 7 p.m. at the Stan Sheriff Center. The Rainbow Warriors also face South Dakota on Sunday before wrapping up the tournament Monday against Pacific.