For its 7DAYS EuroCup debut, Lietkabelis Panevezys has put together a new-look squad with mostly new signings. Surely the two names that create the biggest buzz are legendary twin brothers Darjus and Ksistof Lavrinovic, who have been hurting opposing defenses with their inside-outside game for more than a decade. Mindaugas Lukauskis is another veteran with vast experience – and a pair of EuroCup titles to his name, however, it is swingman Ben Madgen who is expected to be team’s top scoring option. Together with new arrival at point guard in Lorenzo Williams, they will have help on the perimeter in Gintaras Leonavicius and Tadas Rinkunas, while young forwards Donatas Tarolis and Zygimantas Skucas, and bruising big man Simas Galdikas bolstered the team’s front line.
Point guards Williams and Zygimantas Janavicius, the latter of whom joined the team in the second half of last season, will take care of the playmaking reigns and look to create for and involve the team’s offensive weapons. The most dangerous scoring options will come from the wings with scoring ace and 31-year-old EuroCup rookie Ben Madgen and veteran swingman Gintaras Leonavicius, who is equally dangerous penetrating or shooting the long ball. Sniper Tadas Rinkunas can light it up from outside, while two-time EuroCup champion Mindaugas Lukauskis is another danger from the wings. His presence and experience will be invaluable not only to this backcourt, but for the entire team.
Twin brothers Darjus and Ksistof Lavrinovic bring Lietkabelis loads of options. Both players are tough inside and can shoot behind the arc to stretch the floor – which they have been doing for almost 15 years at the elite level. Lietkabelis’s strength under the rims also features a tough and reliable rebounder, Simas Galdikas, who will carry a big share of the load. Donatas Tarolis excels on the boards and should contribute on both ends of the floor, while another EuroCup debutante, Zygimantas Skucas, can cover both forward positions and together with center Tomas Rimsa will provide depth and be source of energy off the bench for this squad.
PLAYER TO WATCH
Australian Ben Madgen comes to Lietkabelis and the 7DAYS EuroCup with a reputation as a scoring ace after leading the Belgian League in scoring last season. Madgen is a threat from any range with his ability to knock down shots and to create scoring chances for himself. Surrounded by so many weapons and good outside shooters on this Lietkabelis team, both in the backcourt and front line, Madgen should have enough lanes and opportunities to exploit his scoring prowess. Madgen might be making his EuroCup debut late in his career, but at the end of this campaign could easily be one the great discoveries and one of competition’s best scorers.
Despite facing the challenge of putting together a team where only one player remains from the end of last season, Coach Kazys Maksvytis will have lots of offensive options on his roster. With a potent backcourt and the majority of a frontline that can hit from long range, Lietkabelis will present a nightmare matchup. This team is also one of the oldest, if not the most veteran team in the competition, with three players – Lavrinovic brothers and Lukauskis – with 37 years of professional experience on their backs, which could be a factor as the season goes along. But because of that same veteran presence and experience, expect Lietkabelis to be a very tough out, especially on its home court in Panevezys, at the recently-built Cido Arena where fans cannot wait to see elite basketball opposition.