G. Krapikas: the task of the younger defenders is to bite into Evans’ leg

Having started the preparation for the season in physical training, the basketball players of “Žalgiris” Kaunas are gradually picking up a basketball and getting to know tactical exercises.

He leads the preparations for the new season of “Zalgiris”. Amber Krapikastemporarily replacing the head coach Kazis Maksvytis, who is preparing the Lithuanian men’s basketball team for the European Championship.

On the occasion of the started training, G. Krapikas visited “Bar 11” located in the “Žalgiris” arena, where he took part in a live conversation with “Žalgiris Insider” presenter Rytis Kazlauskas and answered the bar’s visitors’ questions.

“Yes, there have been cases when a player has come to the first training camp, and when you take his waist, you notice that there is not a shirt, but a “lifebuoy” and it is still so fully inflated. Previously, “Žalgiris” did not have the opportunity to sign highly skilled and proven foreigners. This year, I think we have signed such players who really know what it means to play in the Euroleague, what kind of body you need to have,” said G. Krapikas with a smile about the stories of the distant past in the “Žalgiris” club.

On Sunday, the team from Kaunas received the Americans Keenan Evans and Kevarrius Hayes, who flew to Lithuania, and on Wednesday they already participated in physical training with the team. G. Krapikas was happy that the team’s foreigners flew to Lithuania in a great mood for work.

“I saw on Monday morning our Americans who were not sour and not tired on their faces and came of their own accord to look and say hello to others who were working individually. Some of our Lithuanians have been working individually since last week – explained G. Krapikas. – From Wednesday, we divide training into conditioning and individual work training. In the evening again – a part of physical training and 5-on-5 basketball training, introducing the players to how we want to play. We had planned to start the preparation a little earlier, so our first control match will be very soon. You want to prepare for them as well, but, of course, that match will not be the main goal”, said the specialist.

“Žalgiris” will play the first control match as early as next week, which will be broadcast live by the “Žalgiris Insider” content platform. The players of the youth team will help Žalgiris in future strength tests, from whom G. Krapikas expects sufficient pressure on the main players of the team.

“Now we have seven players who will be full members of the team during the season. We will take 5-6 players from the backup team to have a 12 or one other player as a substitute. For example, that the workload for Mantas Kalniečius would not be too high and we would have a player to replace him with. I think it is necessary to understand that their role in the preparation will be very important. Imagine, for Keenan Evans to get into shape, and he’s a higher skill than other quarterbacks, if he doesn’t get pressure, if nobody challenges him, it’s going to take him a long time to get into athletic shape. The task of our younger defenders will be to bite his leg in order to provoke him into a better athletic form”, G. Krapikas vividly described the situation.

“Long break” – a look at all the European Championship teams: how the Lithuanians can stop Dončići, who lost all the matches, who didn’t play friendlies, the most interesting players and who can surprise and who can disappoint


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