Lithuanian men’s basketball team head coach Darius Maskoliūnas has chosen thirteen players for the second qualifying round of the European Men’s Basketball Championship, which will be held on November 27th and 29th at the Siemens Arena in Vilnius. Due to failure to reach an agreement with NBA clubs, two national team leaders Domantas Sabonis and Jonas Valanciunas will not participate in the tournament, however, two new faces have been added to the list. The Lithuanian team will play against Denmark and Belgium in the ‘bubble’ format tournament.
Two young basketball players will make their debut
Regimantas Miniotas and Augustas Marčiulionis have been given a chance to play for men’s national team for the first time. R. Miniotas, who has been representing Prienai Cbet had a great start of the Betsafe-LKL season so far, he averages 19 points in just over 32 minutes, rebounds 10.7 balls. His impressive game did not go unnoticed -he was announced October MVP of the league.
Meanwhile, 18-year-old A. Marčiulionis, who made his debut in the highest Lithuanian basketball league this year, has been performing better and better each game. In the match against Utena „Juventus“, the 193 cm guard has scored 9 points, rebounded 5 balls. This has been the best match of a young Lithuanian prospect so far.
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„I often watch the Betsafe-LKL games and R. Miniotas‘ game has been incredible. His versatility, speed is what we may need in this qualifier window. Considering that after the short break other big men of the national team will return to the court and they might not be in the best shape, I think Regimantas will be a solid addition to our roster,” – D. Maskoliūnas spoke about upcoming debut of the big man. „As for Augustas, we invited him to get used to the national team training process, to get acquainted with the atmosphere, rules, because we may be in great need not only in the next stage of qualification, but we see him as a potentialnational team player in the future as well,“ – added head coach.
Head coach noted that this time he was not able to invite everyone he wanted to see the most with the national team. This was prevented by NBA clubs’ not released its players, minor injuries, and some players themselves refused to participate in the ‘bubble’.
It is also important to note that, despite the published list of thirteen players, due to obvious reasons list of players is subject to change.
|Mantas Kalnietis||Krasnodaro „Lokomotiv-Kuban“|
|Vaidas Kariniauskas||Utenos „Juventus“|
|Arnas Velička||Braunšveigo „Lowen Braunschweig“|
|Šarunas Vasiliauskas||Izmiro „Aliaga Petkimspor“|
|Tomas Dimša||Las Palmo „Gran Canaria Herbalife“|
|Mindaugas Girdžiunas||Vilniaus „Rytas“|
|Arnas Butkevičius||Vilniaus „Rytas“|
|Jonas Mačiulis||Atėnų „AEK“|
|Mindaugas Kuzminskas||Krasnodaro „Lokomotiv-Kuban“|
|Eimantas Bendžius||Sasario „Dinamo“|
|Gytis Masiulis||Panevėžio „Lietkabelis“|
|Regimantas Miniotas||Bilbao „RETAbet basket“|
|Laurynas Birutis||Santjago de Kompostelos „Obradoiro Monbus“|
|Marek Blaževič||Kauno „Žalgiris“|
National team will seek a rematch against Belgium
Lithuanian national team will start its training camp on Monday, November 23. According to D. Maskoliūnas, the time for the preparation is not something to be happy about, but he is glad that the players of the national team will have a chance to play together for the honor of the country.“It is a pity that for various reasons we have not been able to gather the core of the national team during the summer, but we are glad that we have the opportunity to work and play. We will try to get the maximum with those players who are available to play for the national team at the moment and we hope that we will give Lithuania two victories, ” – mentioned the head coach.
On the November 27th Lithuania will play Denmark and after a short break, on the November 29th Lithuania will face off Belgium national team. Both games will be broadcasted live on TV3.
“So far, the Lithuanians share the second place in group C with the Czech Republic – both teams have one victory and one defeat at the moment. In the first place – Belgium, which is moving without defeats, and at the bottom of the group – Denmark, which has yet to win their first game.
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