Our team – BC Žalgiris
BC Žalgiris –
Lithuania’s most titled men’s basketball team of all-time. Its story
began in 1944 when Žalgiris team quickly climbed to a place among the
former Soviet Union's basketball elite, and with the restoration of
Lithuania’s independence the team left an indelible mark on the European
By winning European
Club Cup tournament in 1998 the players earned the right to compete in
the Euroleague. Debuting in the Old Continent top championship Žalgiris
reaped one victory after another, impressing whole Europe with its play.
Once in the semifinals Kaunas team still were not considered to be
favorites, but again proved to be invincible, and raised the Euroleague
Champions’ Cup above their heads.
With its excellent
appearance Žalgiris secured a place among the leaders of European
basketball while retaining a dominant position in local games as well.
Of 18 Lithuanian Basketball League (LKL) seasons 13 times Kaunas
Žalgiris were LKL champions. Four times Žalgiris triumphed in the Baltic
Basketball League finals. Since the Lithuanian Basketball Federation
(LKF) Cup was restarted, the team has shown great performance and has
already won three titles.
Currently, BC Žalgiris has five players in its roster who played as part
of the Lithuanian national team and helped win a bronze medal in the
World Basketball Championship last year: Paulius Jankūnas, Mantas
Kalnietis, Martynas Pocius, Tomas Delininkaitis ir Tadas Klimavičius.
This summer Žalgiris signed a contract with Robertas Javtokas, captain
of the Lithuanian national team.
In the upcoming season, Žalgiris will, without a doubt, strive to
preserve its champion title of the LKF Cup, the Baltic and the
Lithuanian basketball leagues. The team will participate in the
challenging VTB United League Cup and will meet with the strongest teams
of the prestigious Euroleague tournament in the new Žalgiris Arena.
basketball team earned their champions of the Soviet Union title five
times. First two titles the team earned back in the 1947 and 1951, and
during the ninth decade of the last century Žalgiris won the finals
against the powerful Moscow CSKA team three times in a row - 1985, 1986,
1987. Kaunas Žalgiris was the first Lithuanian club to debut in the
European Basketball Championships. In 1981 the team reached the
quarterfinals of the European Cup Winners' tournament.
1986 was one of the most successful in Žalgiris history. The team
reached European Champions’ Cup finals, and was second only to Zagreb
Cibona team, led by the legendary Croatian Dražen Petrovich. Later
Žalgiris revenged Croats by defeting them in W. Jones Intercontinental
Cup and won the title of world's strongest club.
The best Lithuanian basketball player of all time, Arvydas Sabonis,
started and later chose to end his career in Kaunas Žalgiris. He debuted
in the team at the age of 16 (1981). Later, in 1989, the middle
attacker went on to compete abroad, but in 2003 said, “Enough of the
Americas, Žalgiriukas needs help,” and returned to the strongest
Lithuania’s team. In 2003-2004 season Žalgiris was within a hair's
breadth from the Euroleague finals, and, being a 39-year-old, Sabonis
has been recognized as the best high-scoring player of the Euroleague
Kaunas Žalgiris was the last team to win the European Cup Winners' Cup.
After the triumph of the players in 1998, the tournament was given
Saporta Cup title.
In its debut in the Euroleague during 1998-1999 season Žalgiris
surprised all of the Europe by displaying mature offensive play style.
Excellent performance led Kaunas team to semifinals, and although they
were not considered favorites, they won the decisive match 82:74 against
Bologna Kinder team that was defending its champions’ title.
During 18 Lithuanian Basketball League (LKL) seasons BC Žalgiris became
the country champion 13 times. The team dominated in LKL Championship
during 1994-1999 and also in 2001, 2003-2005, 2007-2008 and 2011.
Kaunas Žalgiris has triumphed four times in Baltic Basketball League
(BBL) competitions since 2005, when they were first introduced. Žalgiris
was the strongest team in the Baltic countries in 2005, 2008, 2010 and
In 2007, when the Lithuanian Basketball Federation (LKF) Cup was
restarted, BC Žalgiris immediately climbed onto the podium. Žalgiris won
the LKF Cup three times - in 2007, 2008 and 2011.
BC Žalgiris legionary Tanoka Beard, who was part of the team during
2003-2007, recorded the most impressive individual performance of the
decade with 35 points on 11-of-14 shooting, 19 rebounds and 11 fouls
drawn for a record 63 performance index rating on January 22nd 2004
against eventual finalist Fortitudo Pallacanestro Bologna.