Lithuania Basketball team going to Turkey with thoughts about the future, with thoughts about European championship 2011, as this event will take place in Lithuania. The Future team – voice concerns about it. But if this is true really? Is this the 2011 team? We will talk about it a little bit later.
So, Lithuania basketball federation (LKF) officially presented this team as a future team, so therefore LKF has set small targets – be among the best eight teams. Probably such small goals our team never had, at least I do not remember.
Of course, this Lithuanian national team is not dream team, the dream team that Lithuania may have with such players like Siskauskas, Jasikevicius, Kaukenas, twins Lavrinoviciai, Songaila and Ilgauskas. These names sound good? So, our real team is young. This team is not scary (but on the other hand many team for one reason or another will not have their leaders, their star players in Turkey). Lithuania goes to win. It’s not disputed. This is the youth – it is reasoned, motivated. But what about talent ?
Lithuania basketball team have couple problem with this squad. We have very strong small and power forward, where is the star and leader (this fact was confirmed by head coach Kestutis Kemzura), of our team Linas Kleiza, Paulius Jankunas, Tadas Klimavicius (he had very good season with Zalgiris), Jonas Maciulis also is very good and very spicy, Renaldas Seibutis, who can play in 2-3 position and he is sharp in the offence. Simas Jasaitis can be dangerous also. So, the middle of the team is GOOD. Let’s talk about 5 position. There we have two players – Robertas Javtokas and Martynas Andriuskevicius, so, we have 1,5 player in this postion. Andriuskevicius is not very strong under the basket, he seems like sausage still. Let‘s talk about 1 position. There we have one true point guard (Mantas Kalnietis) and two or three players (Delininkaitis, Gecevicius and Seibutis), who can play the ball into the game, but these players feeling good in SG position.
Ok, perhaps these problems wil be not so big, when Lithuania will play the games whit Libanon or New Zealand, but with the biggest level opponnets these problems will be very clear. Lithuanian coaches had big headache about which players to take in the team, Kemzura experimented with the squad and in the last serious control match with USA and because of it he had a lot of criticism.
LKF says, that Kemzura is very good coach. LKF likes his working methods and especially appropriate dialogue with same LKF. LKF likes his loyalty. I talked with some LKL teams coaches and they said that Kemzura is very good theoretician, but he still has not proved fully, that he can realize his theories into practice. We will see, what will be in Turkey.
“Oh, that I would be so popular when I go back“, – in the last interview said Kemzura. „You will in any case“, – one juornalist answered.
Despite all factors, Lithuania wants victories. If Kemzura team will have low result, will be difficult to return home. Even with the strong backing LKF.
Fans believe, that our team can fight for 5-6 places, very optimistical fans believe, that our team can go into quarter final. Experts speak, that our team will travel until first play offs.
And finally I want continue my idea about future.
Many of our Star players (like Jasikevicius, Kaukenas, twins Lavrinoviciai, maybe even Songaila and ideally, Ilgauskas) said, what they want to return in the national team in 2011. They would like to play in homeland. They want to thank his fans, because it can be last chance.
1. If this young national team will fail, will be not difficult for the coaches turn to these Star players. 2. But if this young team will show something phenomenal, how then? Coaches will have the courage exchange youth to experience, which rested for a year or more?? I will wait the answer. Good luck for Lithuania.
Raminta Kaminskaite is the LKL (www.lkl.lt) Press Officer
Photographer: Irmantas Sidarevicius