The farewell party of the Lithuanian 3×3 national team to the European Championship took place at the President Valdas Adamkaus Sports Center, which was also attended by His Excellency.
President V. Adamkus presented the Lithuanian tricolor to the national team as a symbol of success and gave a motivational speech.
“Basketball is the pride of our nation and I am extremely happy that both the women’s and men’s national teams are going to the European Championship, where they will be able to show their abilities,” said the President. – I wish to continue to make our country famous and make us proud of you, good luck!
Before the European Championship in Grace (Austria) on September 9-11, coach Dainius Novickas chose the composition of both the men’s and women’s national teams.
In the Lithuanian women’s national team, there is a traditional quartet of Vilnius “Kibirkšties”. Our country will be represented on the big stage Gabriele Šulskė, Kamilė Nacickaitė, Martyna Petrėnaitė and Monika Grigalauskytė.
The women’s national team, which reached the semi-finals in the World Championship, sets no less ambitious goals in the European championships.
“We prepared hard, we are motivated and we want to go all the way,” said the national team leader K. Nacickaitė. – We played together all summer, it’s always good to hope for medals, but it will be as it will be. 3×3 basketball is unpredictable and very interesting, but the fact is that we want medals.”
At that time, Grace will represent the men’s national team Evaldas Džiaugys, Darius Tarvydas, Ignas Razutis and Marijus Užupis.
“It is very nice to have such a meeting. I know that President Valdas Adamkas likes basketball very much and he puts his hand into the sport as much as he can. It’s nice that they don’t forget us either”, said M. Užupis about the unconventional send-off of the national team.
Two world vice-champions – Gintautas Matulis and Ignos Vaitkaus, who were not sent to the European Championship by their Utena and Pasvalis clubs, will not be in this national team.
“We’re leaving again with obstacles, but we’ll still try to extend the medal trail, we’ve prepared well and the harder it is for us, the better,” said D. Novickas. – Those non-releases are strange to me. We are not going on vacation, Lithuania will play in the European Championship. This is the situation now. Before or after the Olympic Games, this attitude should change.”
Despite all the disturbances, coach D. Novickas remains ambitious and believes that the European Championship will be another important step in the fight for qualifying for the Paris Olympic Games.
“We quietly dream that the women will finally win a medal, because a lot of work has been put in.” They really deserve a medal and it would be even more motivation to prepare for the Olympic Games. We go to them step by step, accumulate experience and every victory leads us towards this goal. Three years is our main goal and we constantly think about it”, said D. Novickas.
The Lithuanian men’s national team made it to Group B, where they will face Hungary and the host team of Austria.
At that time, the Lithuanian women’s national team will play against Cyprus and Poland in subgroup D. Both national teams will kick off on September 9, and you can watch the match live on the FIBA3x3 YouTube channel.