Club Profile: Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius

Aug 20, 2015 by Eurocupbasketball.com Print
Club Profile: Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius

Two-time Eurocup champion Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius is always hungry for trophies! Rytas returns to the competition for the third straight year looking to restore some former glory. Rytas was the best three-point shooting and second-best scoring team in the entire Eurocup last season, but suffered elimination in the eighthfinals, which matched its earliest competition exit ever. Rytas also lost to archrival Zalgiris Kaunas in both the Lithuanian Cup and League finals to keep the team title-free for the fifth year in a row. However, it is a club with an impressive winning tradition that dates back nearly to when it was founded in 1997 as a long-awaited replacement for the Lithuanian capital's first great basketball club, Statyba. Rytas quickly earned a reputation by making the 2000 Saporta Cup semifinals and winning the Lithuanian League to break a decade of domination by Zalgiris. After a pair of domestic crowns in 2002, Rytas debuted in the Eurocup by reaching the quarterfinals in 2004 and truly made the big time by lifting the trophy in 2005. That victory sent Rytas to the Euroleague, where it shined by reaching the Top 16 on the way to its third Lithuanian League title. Rytas returned to the Eurocup final in 2007, but lost to mighty Real Madrid. Two years later, however, Rytas was not to be denied as it rallied past Khimki for a second Eurocup title and became the first club to accomplish that feat. The Eurocup was one of five trophies Rytas raised in the 2008-09 season, in which Chuck Eidson was named Eurocup MVP. The next year, Rytas won the Lithuanian double, but those have proven to be its last trophies to date, although a semifinals run in the 2011-12 Eurocup shows how close to success Rytas always is. With a roster traditionally heavy on Lithuanian talent, and with one of toughest home floors in all of Europe, Rytas will take another shot at showcasing why it is one of the most successful clubs in Eurocup history.

2014-15 Results - Eurocup: Eighthfinals, Lithuanian League: finalist, Lithuanian Cup: finalist.

Lietuvos Rytas celebrates - EC14 (photo Lietuvos Rytas)