The appearance of the three-time continental champion Lithuania’s national team in the 2022 Old Continent championships is the worst in the entire history, if we do not count the 1993 tournament in Germany, which was not entered at all.
Until now, the 2001 European Championship in Turkey (12th place) and the 2009 championships in Poland (12th place) were the worst for our team.
On Monday, the president of the Lithuanian Basketball Federation (LKF) Vidas Gedvilas visited the program “Krepšinio zona”. He revealed that after the defeat to the Spaniards, he himself called the strategist Kazis Maksvyčius.
“It was my duty to calm him down. I worked as a coach myself, I know what such a situation means. I understand how Kazys felt after such a lost match.
The coach needs to toughen up. I asked him what you were thinking of doing next. Kazys did not have exact answers. I said that it is necessary to finish the Olympic cycle, to get to the Games. K. Maksvytis performed well in the World Championship selection, achieved almost the maximum result. He must finish the work he started and lead the national team to the Olympic Games”, stated V. Gedvilas.
– Do you think that the final 15th place in Lithuania reflects the team’s capacity? – V. Gedvilas was asked in the program “Basketball Zone”.
– We have to pay attention to the game, it was good. Whether it’s 15th or 9th, it doesn’t matter.
We set the goal of taking 1-4 places, other positions are not relevant.
– It is likely that Lithuania’s position in the FIBA ranking will change, this has an impact on drawing baskets. How much does the federation care about the FIBA ranking?
– Yes, it is relevant. On the other hand, the World Championship awaits, and perhaps the Paris Olympics.
I think our positions will rise.
The most important goals for us are victories and the Olympic Games, because we are in the cycle of the Paris Olympic Games.
– Do you think it’s just a matter of luck? I want to ask you as a coach, as a specialist, what specifically was missing in the Lithuanian game?
– The number of mistakes, we made a lot of mistakes in simple situations when passing the ball and so on. This is one of the most important factors.
Another thing is to hit, both penalties and in the decisive moment. Also, the leaders have to play at important times.
John was unlucky in the last match. If J. Valančiūnas had thrown his averages in the match against the Spaniards, there would be no problems.
Kęstutis Kemzura is the only one who could replace K. Maksvytis if necessary, but if Kazys is a strong coach and has a backbone, he needs to continue his work.
– Why do you think the Lithuanians were wrong?
– I think everyone analyzes each other, chooses certain tactics. Either team could have won the first three games.
One missed shot, unrebounded ball and so on.
I would also like to point out those unsportsmanlike fouls, the episode of Ignos Brazdeikis in overtime determined the final result of the match.
Judging is generally of a low level, second and third echelon arbitrators work.
That defeat or victory consists of everything. We have sent a letter to FIBA asking for the best referees to referee Eurobasket matches.
I think we will also apply for naturalized basketball players. Maybe we should ask our basketball community, maybe we should also take that path? In my opinion, no, we don’t need it.
Some of my friends have written that it is better to lose with yourself than to enjoy victory with strangers.
– What should happen for FIBA to change its regulations regarding naturalized players?
– If a foreigner determines the result, then what kind of national team tournament is this? If they allow one, maybe they will also allow a second or third basketball player to be naturalized?
We will appeal to FIBA to take action.
– After the Spanish-Lithuanian match, a conflict arose on social networks regarding naturalized players, the Spanish argument is that I. Brazdeikis is also a naturalized basketball player.
– Ignas was born in Lithuania, his parents are Lithuanian. I don’t think Lorenzo Brown can boast that.
– Maybe the goals are too high for Lithuania?
– I don’t think that the national team should aim to be 10th. You have to look at the game itself. Even after the defeats, there was no anger in the national team, it did not derail the men.
The team is promising, in sports you can’t always win, you can’t always lose.
Maybe at the World Championship or Paris (Olympic Games) our hour will strike.
– When will the work of national team coaches be evaluated?
– Let’s not rush. Not this week, we need to wait for the end of the Eurobasket, to evaluate the other national teams.
I think it will happen at the end of September.
– I want to ask about the duet of J. Valančiūnas and Domantas Sabonis. In your opinion, has that duo not hindered the pursuit of victories on the court?
– Everyone can have their own opinion. The coaches decided to play like this. In my opinion, it is better to use them one at a time, they should replace each other.
But no one knows what the result would be then. And in this championship there were sections when they played one by one, it was not the case that they were together on the floor for the whole championship.
– Kazys Maksvytis said after the match with the Spaniards that he did not know if he would continue working in the national team? Did you get to talk to him?
– We talked to him. It was my duty to calm him down. I myself know what such a situation means, so I understand how Kazys felt after such an evening. The coach needs to toughen up.
I asked him what you were thinking of doing next. Kazys did not have exact answers.
I said that it is necessary to finish the Olympic cycle, to get to the Games. K. Maksvytis performed well in the World Championship selection, achieved almost the maximum result. He must finish the work he started and lead the national team to the Olympic Games. The national team’s “window” awaits again in autumn.
yes, Kęstutis Kemzūra is the only one who could replace K. Maksvytis if necessary, but if Kazys is a strong coach and has a backbone, he needs to continue his work.
The team is good, played well. I would understand if the national team was crushed by rivals. Then I would say that something is wrong. I think Kazys will remain in this post, but I don’t know the opinion of the members of the Executive Committee.
– Will the assistants of the national team remain the same? I know that the basketball visions of K. Maksvytis and K. Kemzura are somewhat different.
– I think it’s a great, balanced coaching staff. I know K. Kemzur very well, he has no ambitions to become a leader. coach’s chair, his goal is to help.
Giedrius Žibėnas – a promising, young coach, we gave him a chance to help the coaching staff and gain experience. We really did not impose a coaching staff on K. Maksvyčius.
We didn’t talk about specific things or details with Kaz. If he says another headquarters is needed, we will respect his opinion.
– It seems that it is more and more difficult to invite players to the national team. Is this becoming a problem?
– I don’t think it’s a problem. Kazys spoke to all the basketball players. You could invite 18 basketball players to the national team camp, but only 12 players go.
I think the team was optimal, except Edgar Ulanov was missing, he is a non-standard player, Kazi missed him the most.
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