Turkish Airlines Euroleague
May 23, 2013
Club Profile 2012-13: BC Prienai
BC Prienai faces its second Eurocup season with the ambition to keep improving and challenge for a Last 16 spot. Last season, Rudupis finished the regular season with a 3-3 record and recorded a prestigious road win against CEZ Nymburk but could not survive a make-or-break showdown against Aris BSA 2003. For the second year running, Rudupis was third in the Lithuanian League, locking a 2012-13 Eurocup spot. Founded in 1994 as Prienu Bankas and located in Prienai, an 11,000-inhabitant city in southern Lithuania, Rudupis slowly but steadily worked its way through the lower divisions in the country. The club, now under the name Prienai, was third in the 2002-03 Lithuanian second division, setting the basis for a brighter future. It changed its name to Rudupis in 2005 and became KK Prienai in 2007, but the club stayed in the Lithuanian second division for several years. In 2008-09, however, everything clicked for Rudupis, that featured Andrius Giedraitis and Kestutis Sestokas as its key veterans. The club was second at the end of the regular season with a 29-7 record. Rudupis stormed into the second division final, downing Maresta 79-70 in Game 7 of the best-of-seven series to reach the Lithuanian League (LKL). Rudupis had a strong LKL debut season in 2009-10, finishing seventh overall and reaching the playoffs. The club also made it to the Baltic Challenge Cup final, enough to compete in the Baltic League the following season. Rudupis managed to land several talented players on loan, such as Adas Juskevicius, Povilas Butkevicius or Justas Sinica, who took the team to the next level. Rudupis was third at the end of the regular season, swept Juventus in the third place playoffs to claim a Eurocup berth and also did well in the Baltic League, reaching the quarterfinals. Rudupis consolidated its good results in 2011-12, taking Zalgiris to a do-or-die Game 3 in the Baltic League playoffs and being third again in the Lithuanian League. The future looks brighter than ever for Rudupis, as it seems that the best is yet to come.
Wednesday, July 18, 2012