Lithuanian national team head coach Darius Maskoliūnas and team captain Mantas Kalnietis participated in the official press conference before the Olympic Qualifying Tournament, that will start in Kaunas tomorrow.
At the beginning of the conference, Mantas Kalnietis stated that the whole focus now is on Tuesday’s game.
„I can’t say anything special, at the moment the first game is the most important for us. We don’t look ahead to what will happen next. The whole focus in practices is about our game-plan for tomorrow”, – said team captain.
Mantas was happy that Lithuanians playing at home will get additional energy and motivation from the home court fans.
„We are happy to see our fans in the stands supporting us after a two-year break. It’s a bit of a pressure, but we’re happy to see them and they are usually our sixth player on the court during all competitions. We expect a lot of energy from them”, – the captain emphasised the importance of the home crowd.
D. Maskoliūnas started the press conference by saying that he appreciates the team’s preparation for this week’s upcoming challenges.
„It is obvious that it is very important week for us. We know our goal, what we want to achieve. I think we are well prepared. If we would have had more time, it would have been better, but it is what it is. Tomorrow we will start our journey towards the Olympic goal”, – said the head coach of the national team.
A little later, Darius Maskoliūnas added that the team is on the right track to achieve its main goal.
„Day after day, game after game, we are moving forward. Our team chemistry looks better and better. We have a lot of experience, everything is good, we are on a right path”, – D. Maskoliūnas evaluated the team’s progress.
Looking at Tuesday’s opponents, head coach agreed with the journalist’s idea that Venezuela’s game style is reminiscent of the Dominican Republic, which the Lithuanians faced twice in the preparation cycle.
“They play similar basketball, very physical basketball. Physically strong. Yes, there are a lot of similarities”, – added head coach.
Lithuania will play Venezuela on Tuesday (29th of June) at 19:30 o’clock. Tickets are available on bilietai.lt