Zalgiris Kaunas Tickets
Zalgiris is a basketball team based in Kaunas, Lithuania. It is one of the oldest teams in Euro league and plays domestically in the Lithuanian Basketball League.
Team Info Official club name Basketball Club zalgiris Logo design: A green and white shield with the sign "BC Zalgiris", basketball and a letter "z". The name commemorates the victorious Battle of zalgiris.
Since 1944, BC zalgiris was the main Lithuanian basketball team to produce the top-flight talents for the European basketball, such as the Olympic champions
Valdemaras Chomicius, and many others. In the mid-1980s, the finals between BC zalgiris Kaunas and CSKA Moscow served as a major inspiration for Lithuanian national revival that contributed to the emergence of Sajudis national movement and re-establishment of state independence.
Sabonis is now the principal owner of the club, having purchased it in 2003 after having played for many years in the Spanish league and the NBA. Northern Europe's most traditional power, Zalgiris Kaunas, holds the hopes of basketball-mad Lithuania in its hands heading into the 2006-07 Euro league. To be practical, Zalgiris wants to reach the Top 16 again and win games after stalling at that stage without a victory in each of the last two seasons. A renovated roster heavy on homegrown youngsters will try to meet that challenge. Those young talents will have a veteran leader in center Tanoka Beard, still a formidable inside force at age 35. They will also have a floor director more their age, but with plenty know-how, in Marko Popovic.
Another pair of experienced hands picked up by Zalgiris is solid scorer Hanno Mottola and shooting ace Marcelinho Machado. Most everything else will be up to the Zalgiris youngsters, from established forwards Paulius Jankunas and Jonas Maciulis to fast-rising guard Mantas Kalnietis to big center Darius Silinskis. There are only four players older than 24 on the roster, so how fast the rest mature under the direction of head coach Ainars Bagatskis, who enters his first full season on the bench, will determine the chances of Zalgiris in 2006-07. A very interesting backcourt might be the key for Zalgiris. Thanks to fearlessness and a hot hand, Popovic has been a potent scorer in the Euro league since he was a teenager. Kalnietis, meanwhile, is a tall, active ball handler who looked like an all-around ace upon joining Zalgiris during last season's Top 16.Alongside them is another veteran, always steady Vidas Ginevicius, while another point guard brings a promising surname, Vytenis Jasikevicius, younger brother of the famous three-time Euro league champion. Among several swingmen on the roster, Machado will certainly get his chances to shoot from deep and keep opposing defenses honest. Another off-season addition, Vaidotas Peciukas, will join Machado in the shooting department, while energetic Jonas Maciulis is more of a driving force.
The inside game starts with Beard, who shook off injury last season to return to his normal standing as a double-digit scorer and one of the Euro league's top rejoinders. Zalgiris signed Mottola to assume some of the inside scoring load, which he has done at several Euroleague teams. His smooth shot from several distances will be welcome to help replace the points of departed Darjus Lavrinovic, an All-Euro league second-team selection last season. To replace the blocked shots of Lavrinovic, who led the Euro league in that department, Zalgiris will look to its tallest player, 2.16-meter Darius Silinskis, who could come into his own this season. Back at the power forward spot, one of the revelations of last season, Paulius Jankunas, is the top returning scorer besides Beard. He can also swing to the small forward position if Zalgiris wants to play a big lineup. Curiously, Beard and Popovic own the two best single-game performance ratings of the decade in Euroleague play, giving Zalgiris an explosive inside-outside duo on which to rely. How they lead the others will help determine a lot about how soon the young Zalgiris talents start to make their contributions. When they do, Zalgiris will have a potential surprise team on its hands once again.
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