BC Lietuvos Rytas: Wikis


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BC Lietuvos Rytas
BC Lietuvos Rytas logo
Leagues Lithuanian Basketball League,
Baltic League,
Founded 1964
History Statyba Vilnius
Arena Lietuvos Rytas Arena (capacity: 1,700),
Siemens Arena

(capacity: 11,000)

Location Vilnius, Lithuania
Team colors Black, White and Red
President Lithuania Gedvydas Vainauskas
Head coach Lithuania Rimas Kurtinaitis
Championships 2 ULEB Eurocup Championships
4 Lithuanian Championships
3 Baltic Basketball League Championships
1 Baltic Basketball League Presidents Cup
1 North European Basketball League
Kit body blackstripes.png
Home jersey
Team colours
Kit body blackstripes.png
Away jersey
Team colours

BC Lietuvos Rytas is a professional basketball club based in Vilnius, Lithuania playing in the Lithuanian Basketball League, the Baltic Basketball League, and the Euroleague. They play most of their home LKL games at the 1,700-seat Lietuvos Rytas Arena; high-demand LKL games (such as the national derby against Žalgiris) and all home games in European competition are held at the 11,000-seat Siemens Arena.


Franchise history



The team now known as Lietuvos Rytas began play as Statyba in 1964. Jonas Kazlauskas, Rimas Girskis, and then head coach Rimantas Endrijaitis led Statyba to win third place in the 1979 Soviet Union Championship. Three years later, Šarūnas Marčiulionis joined the team and became the leader. In 1987, Artūras Karnišovas joined the team at the age of 16.

Statyba becomes Lietuvos Rytas

In 1997, the team was renamed to Lietuvos Rytas Statyba, then just Lietuvos Rytas as the club was bought by the Lithuanian newspaper Lietuvos Rytas. The newspaper's investment helped establish the club as one of two best in Lithuania, the other being BC Žalgiris from the country's second-largest city Kaunas.

"Big three"

The first success came in 2000, when Vilnius' side was led by the so called "big three" — Ramūnas Šiškauskas, Andrius Giedraitis and Eric Elliott, also combined with youngsters Arvydas Macijauskas and Robertas Javtokas. The team was coached by former player Jonas Kazlauskas. It was the first time in the history of the Lithuanian Basketball League when Žalgiris did not win the LKL title. Also, Rytas managed to reach the Saporta Cup semifinal, where it met last season Euroleague runner-up Kinder. After an upsetting home win 70-60, Rytas lost in Italy 71-83, with Šiškauskas missing a three-pointer which would've won the two-game series for his team.

2001-02 season

Two years later, Lietuvos Rytas repeated their triumph, this time in a dramatic seven-game final series with the last game decided in overtime. The team played without center Robertas Javtokas, who was seriously injured in a motorbike crash. Lietuvos Rytas also won the NEBL title in 2002, becoming the last team winning the tournament. The team held first place in the group stage of the Saporta Cup, but lost in the quarter-finals to Hapoel Jerusalem B.C..

2004-05: ULEB Cup champions

After not winning any title in the two past seasons, Lietuvos Rytas won the 2005 ULEB Cup, granting them a place in the Euroleague, the continent's primary basketball club tournament. Midway through the season, team leader Frederick House suffered a season-ending injury, head coach Vlade Djurovic was resigned and replaced by Slovenian Tomo Mahoric, but newcomer Tyrone Nesby, Latvian playmaker Roberts Štelmahers and an inspirational Lithuanian trio: Robertas Javtokas, Simas Jasaitis and Tomas Delininkaitis led the team and managed to win second place in the LKL and BBL finals.

2005–06: Euroleague debut

Before the 2005–06 season, Croatian specialist Neven Spahija became the head coach of the team. Lietuvos Rytas started the 2005-06 Euroleague season well. After losing their first two matches, Lietuvos Rytas matched the Euroleague record by winning seven consecutive Euroleague fixtures, defeating such teams as Winterthur FCB, defending champions Maccabi (twice) and Efes Pilsen. In the Euroleague, they were able to advance to the Top 16 phase, winning three times of six. After winning the Baltic Basketball League title, Lietuvos Rytas won their easiest finals series, crushing Žalgiris 4–0. Despite winning the Lithuanian title, Lietuvos Rytas did not acquire the country's spot for 2006-07 that was reserved to archrival Žalgiris.

2006-07: ULEB Cup runner-up

The Lietuvos Rytas' fans.

Although the coach and three leading players: Robertas Javtokas, Simas Jasaitis and Frederick House had left the team during the interseason, the 2006-07 ULEB Cup season was rather successful for Lietuvos Rytas as well, despite that two coaches were replaced during the season: Sharon Drucker from Israel was replaced by Slovenian Zmago Sagadin and the latter to his assistant coach Aleksandar Trifunović from Serbia. The roster was strengthened during the season when promising NBA player Kareem Rush arrived to lead the team to the ULEB Cup final where Lietuvos Rytas was defeated by Real Madrid. However, Real Madrid's victory at the ACB semifinals and of one of four spots reserved for Spain allowed Lietuvos Rytas to take part in the Euroleague 2007-08 season as the ULEB Cup finalist. On April 27, 2007, Lietuvos Rytas won their second consecutive BBL title, Kareem Rush was named the Final Four MVP.

2007-08: Back to Euroleague

On October 25, 2007, Lietuvos Rytas started its second Euroleague season in Group B with a road victory against Armani Jeans Milano. The team was led by Marijonas Petravičius, who reached a career-high performance index rating of 28 and became the week's MVP runner-up. On November 1, Lietuvos Rytas defeated Maccabi for a third time in a row as Artūras Jomantas led the team with 19 points and became the week's co-MVP with Erazem Lorbek, both having performance index ratings of 29. Lietuvos Rytas finished the first round of group competition in the first spot with 5 victories and 2 losses for the second consecutive time, overcoming Cibona Zagreb by 34 points in the final match. The year 2007 ended with two more victories in the second round, allowing Lietuvos Rytas to repeat their previous 7-2 record in Euroleague. The last one, the fourth victory in a row over Maccabi, was due to spectacular performances by Hollis Price (19 points) and Chuck Eidson (28 points). On January 23, 2008, Lietuvos Rytas proved itself against Unicaja Malaga at own home court, the victory secured the team the first berth in the group with one game remaining, but lost forward Matthew Nielsen to injury. A road victory against Cibona Zagreb on January 31, 2008 completed the Euroleague regular season for Lietuvos Rytas and allowed them to remain at the first spot in the Group B securing a favorable position in the first pool before the Top 16 draw together with CSKA Moscow, Real Madrid and Panathinaikos Athens. Their 11-3 record was the team's best regular-season performance ever, and the best by a Lithuanian team in Euroleague. The team failed to succeed in the Top 16 and did not advance to playoffs. Lietuvos Rytas were the runner-up at all: the Lithuanian Basketball League, the Baltic Basketball League and the Lithuanian Cup.

2008-09: ULEB Eurocup champions again

Charles Eidson, the leader of the team for the 08-09 season

The 2008-2009 season was met by the team with a significantly reduced budget, putting a greater emphasis on young and perspective local players. A single American and two Serbs remained in the team after Australian Matthew Nielsen was resigned. Nevertheless, Lietuvos Rytas managed to win the first ever Baltic Basketball Presidents Cup. They also won their first ULEB Eurocup 2008-09 match which proved to be a success defeating ASVEL by a considerable margin. As many other Baltic professional sports clubs, Lietuvos rytas had to face the blow of financial crisis in late 2008 and early 2009. Having lost two of its foreign leaders Lietuvos Rytas still managed to reach the second phase of Eurocup finishing second in their group with three home wins and three away losses. The team has started second phase of the Eurocup with only two foreign players, Chuck Eidson (a teammate of Petravičius at South Carolina) and Milko Bjelica on its roster which had been refreshed with promising Lithuanians. Head coach Antanas Sireika has resigned and was replaced by a former Statyba-Lietuvos rytas' player Rimas Kurtinaitis for the second half of the season. Rytas has finished the Top 16 phase of the cup in a second place after Iurbentia Bilbao. Chuck Eidson was named the ULEB Eurocup regular season MVP.

The Final 8 has started with a victory against Benetton Treviso on April 2, 2009. The team has won semifinals against Hemofarm Vršac and made the third consecutive play in the ULEB Eurocup finals. Mindaugas Lukauskis has made a decisive three-pointer and that allowed him to become the only player to participate in the final three times in total and the only two-times ULEB Cup champion. The final game against BC Khimki Moscow was won on April 5, 2009 with terrific performances of Steponas Babrauskas (18 points) and Marijonas Petravičius (20 points). Lietuvos rytas made an outstanding 15:0 run, having left their rivals empty for 6 straight minutes in the third and fourth quarters. Lietuvos rytas became the first team in history to reclaim the Eurocup title. Marijonas Petravičius became the Final 8 MVP.

By winning the ULEB Eurocup in 2009, they qualified to compete in Europe's strongest league, the Euroleague in the 2009-10 season.[1]

Lietuvos Rytas won the 2009 Lithuanian Cup over Žalgiris. The SEB Baltic Basketball League final game was won by Lietuvos Rytas on April 25, 2009 over its archrival Žalgiris, 97 to 74. It was the third BBL title for the club, compared to Žalgiris' two. Another victory achieved by the fast-rising club Lietuvos Rytas was the Lithuanian Basketball League (LKL). Lietuvos Rytas swept past all the teams in the playoffs and qualified to the finals. In the finals, the Vilnius team confronted their rival team Žalgiris Kaunas and won the series 4 to 1, the final match taking place on May 18. This is the 4th time Lietuvos Rytas became the LKL champion. It was the 5th trophy for the team this season from 5 possible ones.

2009-10: Third Euroleague season

Lietuvos Rytas, following the leave of team's leaders Marijonas Petravičius, Mindaugas Lukauskis and Chuck Eidson, acquired new perspective players. The team began their season with a dramatic loss to their rivals BC Žalgiris 78 to 83 in BBL finals. Lietuvos Rytas also participated in the 2009 Gomelsky Cup, in which the team claimed third place after a near-loss game against Triumph Lyubertsy 94 to 90. Lietuvos Rytas took the 5th place in Group B of the 2009-10 Euroleague season and did not advance to the Top 16.



Current head coach and former player Rimas Kurtinaitis
BC Lietuvos Rytas roster
Players Coaches
Pos. # Nat. Name Ht. Wt.
SG 5 Lithuania Babrauskas, Steponas (C) 1.97 m (6 ft 6 in) 90 kg (198 lb)
PG 9 Lithuania Ginevičius, Vidas 1.94 m (6 ft 4 in) 88 kg (194 lb)
PG 10 Greece Milošević, Igor 1.93 m (6 ft 4 in) 88 kg (194 lb)
PF 11 Montenegro Bjelica, Milko 2.08 m (6 ft 10 in) 112 kg (247 lb)
SG 13 Lithuania Gecevičius, Martynas 1.93 m (6 ft 4 in) 93 kg (205 lb)
PF 14 Lithuania Zavackas, Donatas 2.03 m (6 ft 8 in) 104 kg (229 lb)
SF 15 Lithuania Buterlevičius, Simas 2.00 m (6 ft 7 in) 94 kg (207 lb)
C 17 Lithuania Valančiūnas, Jonas 2.10 m (6 ft 11 in) 95 kg (209 lb)
SF 21 Lithuania Jomantas, Artūras 2.00 m (6 ft 7 in) 98 kg (216 lb)
SF 22 Lithuania Sinica, Justas 2.03 m (6 ft 8 in) 85 kg (187 lb)
C 31 Australia Baynes, Aron 2.08 m (6 ft 10 in) 110 kg (243 lb)
PF 51 Bosnia and Herzegovina Bajramović, Kenan 2.06 m (6 ft 9 in) 103 kg (227 lb)
Head coach
Assistant coach(es)

  • Injured Injured

Roster • updated 2010-01-26

Former Rosters

Depth Chart

Pos. Starter Bench Bench Inactive
C Aron Baynes Jonas Valančiūnas
PF Donatas Zavackas Milko Bjelica
SF Artūras Jomantas Kenan Bajramović Justas Sinica
SG Martynas Gecevičius Steponas Babrauskas Simas Buterlevičius
PG Igor Milošević Vidas Ginevičius Žydrūnas Kelys

Notable players

The Lietuvos Rytas' lineup in 2007.
Rytas squad's presentation.

In Statyba

In Lietuvos Rytas



  1. ^ http://www.eurocupbasketball.com/ulebcup/home/final-eight/turin-2009/lietuvos-rytas

External links


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