Lithuania isn't considering foreign head coach: 'It'd be a capitulation against our history'

Tomas Vanagas
Staff Writer
2022-09-12 15:31

The head of the Lithuanian Basketball Federation Mindaugas Balciunas does not plan to change the head coach of the national team until the 2024 Olympics.

Credit: Irmantas Gelūnas/BNS
Credit Irmantas Gelūnas/BNS

The Lithuanian national team recorded the worst result in the history of the European Championships, but this did not change the belief of the Lithuanian Basketball Federation's vision set until 2024.

The federation had set the goal of a 1st-4th place in the EuroBasket 2022, but the final result was 15th place.

Mindaugas Balciunas, who took the position of Lithuanian Basketball Federation's (LKF's) general secretary a year ago, said that there will be no changes in the head coach position.

"It is necessary to understand that the national team played with Kazys [Maksvytis] for the first time. We've seen how he works, what level coach he is, how the entire national team feels with him," Mindaugas Balciunas told BasketNews.

"Especially since we don't have so many coaches. Throughout the championship, we constantly talked with Maksvytis, we said that we trust him," Balciunas added.

"We also talked after the Round of 16, we said that he should not even think about leaving. There can be no such thoughts on both sides. We trust him, our national team is quite young, and practice shows that the team achieves its best results in three years," Balciunas continued.

Credit REUTERS – Scanpix

The agreement between LKF and Maksvytis for the national team's head coach position is valid until the end of the 2024 Olympic Games. Is a scenario in which head coach changes even possible before the Olympic Games?

"Unless there is some huge division in the national team itself. But the players and the whole team feel good with him, he is able to bring the team together. Because of the results, we showed good basketball, we only lost to the top five teams, and we were in the lead for most of the matches.

We also lacked luck, we had the opportunity to win two matches with decisive shots and everything would have been different", noted Balciunas.

Balciunas said that the national team is not considering the option of hiring a foreign coach.

"This would be a capitulation against the entire history of Lithuanian basketball," said the general secretary of the LKF.

The Lithuanian team lost 102-94 to the Spanish team in the round of 16 in overtime. Rokas Jokubaitis had a chance to win with a three-pointer at the end of the fourth quarter, but in the end, the teams went into overtime, which ended unsuccessfully for Lithuania.



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