2012-13 Club Profile: Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius

Jun 13, 2012 by Euroleague.net Print
Lietuvos Rytas
2011-12 Results
Eurocup: Semifinals
Baltic B. League: Finalist
Lithuanian League: Finalist
Ronnie Seibutis - Lietuvos Rytas
Ronnie Seibutis
PROVISIONAL ROSTER
2012-13
DULKYS, DEIVIDAS
F
IVANOV, DEJAN
F
RADOSEVIC, LEON
C
BLUMS, JANIS
G
NEDOVIC, NEMANJA
G
DAMBRAUSKAS, PAULIUS
G
BABRAUSKAS, STEPONAS
G
ROBERTS, LAWRENCE
G
SEIBUTIS, RENALDAS
G
DILYS, VILMANTAS
F
SAMARDZISKI, PREDRAG
C
KATELYNAS, MINDAUGAS
F
VALANCIUNAS, JONAS
C
JOMANTAS, ARTURAS
F
REDIKAS, DOVYDAS
G
Head Coach: DZIKIC, ALEKSANDAR
Lietuvos Rytas returns to the Turkish Airlines Euroleague ready to make legions of fans in basketball-crazy Lithuania proud of their team. Rytas is back in the Euroleague for the fifth time in eight years and comes off a strong, yet title-free, 2011-12 season. Rytas made it to the Lithuanian League and the Baltic League finals last season, but lost each time to archrival Zalgiris. Rytas also reached the Eurocup Finals, but fell to BC Khimki in the semifinals. However, the fact that both Jonas Valanciunas and Ronnie Seibutis were chosen to the All-Eurocup first team showed how competitive the squad was all season as it lived up to the high standards of the club. Lietuvos Rytas’s creation filled a hole left by what had been Vilnius's first great basketball club, Statyba, which finished third in the Soviet Union championship back in 1979. Rytas quickly earned a reputation as a top Lithuanian team and a hard-to-beat squad at any level, as it made it to the 2000 Saporta Cup semifinals, reached the Northern Europe Basketball League (NEBL) final that season and won the Lithuanian League to break a decade of domination by Zalgiris. In 2002, Rytas cemented its status as a domestic powerhouse by winning the NEBL title and adding another Lithuanian League crown. Rytas made its ULEB Cup debut in the 2003-04 season and advanced to the quarterfinals. The club went all the way in 2005 after beating Makedonikos for the title and a ticket to the 2005-06 Euroleague. Once in Europe's marquee competition, Rytas beat all of its regular season opponents at least once to get to the Top 16. Rytas also lifted the Baltic League and the Lithuanian League trophies that season. Rytas was back in the ULEB Cup Final in 2007 and though it lost against Real Madrid, the club did earn its way to the Euroleague and successfully defended the Baltic League title. Rytas got back to the Euroleague Top 16 in the 2007-08 season, but lost three domestic finals against Zalgiris. Rytas bounced back with its best season ever and lifted five trophies. Chuck Eidson was the 2008-09 Eurocup MVP and Marius Petravicius earned Final Eight MVP honors as Rytas rallied past Khimki in unbelievable fashion to win its second continental title. Rytas added all four possible domestic titles for a dream campaign. In 2009-10, Rytas won the double crown in Lithuania to keep its spot in the Euroleague. Rytas returned to the Top 16 in 2010-11 by winning its last three regular season games and was close to booking a spot in the playoffs for the first time. Now Rytas comes off a rarity – back-to-back trophy-free seasons – which only increases the motivation in the Lithuanian capital to aim high and to achieve special results in 2012-13.