2016-17 Team Profile: Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius

Aug 03, 2016 by Eurocupbasketball.com Print
2016-17 Team Profile: Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius

Two-time champion Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius had a Eurocup campaign last season it would like to quickly forget. The team returned to the competition for the third straight year and after a surprising home loss in the opener against Besiktas, it bounced back with a 24-point road win at Szolnoki Olaj. However, three consecutive losses followed, and even though Rytas won an important road game against Besiktas, it did not win a single game on its usually tough home floor. Rytas finished the regular season with a 2-8 record and did not get past the regular season for the first time ever.


2013-14 Euroleague 1-9 Regular Season
2012-13 Euroleague 2-8 Regular Season
2010-11 Euroleague 7-9 Top 16
2009-10 Euroleague 4-6 Regular Season
2007-08 Euroleague 13-7 Top 16
2005-06 Euroleague 11-9 Top 16
TOTAL: 38-48


2015-16 Eurocup 2-8 Regular Season
2014-15 Eurocup 11-6-1 Eighthfinal
2013-14 Eurocup 5-3 Eighthfinal
2011-12 Eurocup 12-4 Semifinal
2008-09 Eurocup 10-5 Champion
2006-07 ULEB Cup 10-7 Final
2004-05 ULEB Cup 13-4 Champion
2003-04 ULEB Cup 11-3 Quarterfinal
TOTAL: 74-40-1


Founded in 1997, Lietuvos Rytas filled a hole left by what had been Vilnius's first great basketball club, Statyba, Quickly earning a reputation as a top Lithuanian team and a hard-to-beat squad at any level, Rytas made it to the 2000 Saporta Cup semifinals, reached the Northern Europe Basketball League (NEBL) final that season and won the Lithuanian League to break a decade of domination by Zalgiris Kaunas. After another pair of domestic crowns in 2002, Rytas made a successful ULEB Cup debut in the 2003-04 campaign by advancing to the quarterfinals and then truly made the big time by lifting the trophy in 2005 after beating Makedonikos for the Eurocup championship game behind Tyrone Nesby, Simas Jasaitis and finals MVP Robertas Javtokas. The win also earned Rytas a ticket to the 2005-06 Euroleague, and in its debut team got to the Top 16 of Europe's marquee competition. Rytas also lifted the Baltic League and the Lithuanian League trophies that season. Rytas was back in the ULEB Cup Final in 2007 and though it lost against Real Madrid, the club earned its way back to the Euroleague and successfully defended the Baltic League title. Rytas got back to the Euroleague Top 16 in the 2007-08 season, but on home front lost three domestic finals, all against Zalgiris. However, Rytas bounced back with its best season ever and lifted five trophies in 2008-09. Chuck Eidson was the 2008-09 Eurocup MVP and Marijonas Petravicius earned Final Eight MVP honors as Rytas rallied past Khimki Moscow Region in unbelievable fashion to win its second continental trophy. Rytas added all four possible domestic titles for a true dream season. In 2009-10, Rytas won the double in Lithuania and then returned to the Euroleague Top 16 in 2010-11. A year later the club made it to the Eurocup Finals, but lost against Valencia Basket in the semifinal. In the past three years Rytas never got past the Eurocup eighthfinals, and came up short of winning trophies at home until last season when Rytas ended a run of five title-free years when it beat Zalgiris to win Lithuanian Cup behind Antanas Kavaliauskas. The success did not follow in the Lithuanian playoffs, however, where Rytas was ousted in the deciding fifth game of the semifinals at home against Neptunas Klaipeda.

Trophy Case

Eurocup: 2004-05, 2008-09
NEBL: 2002
Baltic League: 2006, 2007, 2009
Lithuanian National League: 1999-00, 2001-2, 2005-06, 2008-09, 2009-10
Lithuanian National Cup: 1998, 2009, 2010, 2016