THE VOICE OF INTERNATIONAL LITHUANIA
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For 2011, LITHUANIA has been chosen as the host country for one of the most prestigious Sport’s Tournaments in Europe and the World. This is the second time in the Tournament’s rich history that Lithuania has been chosen to host the Basketball Championship of Europe.
EuroBasket 2011 will crown the Basketball Champion of Europe. While this is an important event for all European countries, it is especially important for a country like LITHUANIA that proclaims Basketball as its “Second Religion”.
The EuroBasket Championship saw its first tournament held in Geneva, Switzerland in 1935. Since then, every two years the greatest teams and talent have met for the “bragging rights” of Europe.
Throughout the history of the tournament our Lithuanian Team has done very well.
Clip about European mens basketball championship which will be held in
Lithuania 31 August – 18 September 2011.
In the second EuroBasket Tournament held in Riga, Latvia in 1937
Lithuania won the Gold with the final three results being
Lithuania was the host country for the Tournament in 1939 with Kaunas acting as the host city.
Once again our athletes showed the best of the rest what they were made of
capturing the Gold again for a second time in a row with the final three results being
After 1939, the Tournament was put on hold because of the war but it resumed again in 1946. Unfortunately though, due to the occupation of Lithuania by Soviet Russia, Lithuania was not allowed to enter a Lithuanian Team into the Tournament. The same was true for the other countries occupied by Soviet Russia. However, the top players from Lithuania and many other occupied countries were joined together with players from Russia to make up the basketball team representing the U.S.S.R. As you can imagine, with all of this combined talent on one team, the U.S.S.R. was a dominant force until 1990. In many of the U.S.S.R.’s victories, it was players from Lithuania that made up the nucleus of the team.
With Lithuania finally regaining its independence, 1995 saw for the first time in more than fifty five years a team representing the free Republic of Lithuania. In this Tournament played in Athens, Greece it was a beautiful site to see our players once again adorned in the uniform of our National Colors with “LIETUVA” emblazoned on them. They did not disappoint and picked up right where they left of by earning the Silver medal with the final three results being
They followed up this success with two more medals.
2003 in Stockholm, Sweden saw Lithuania back on top
of the Basketball mountain of Europe with a Gold medal.
In 2007 in Madrid, Spain they again brought home some hardware earning the Bronze.
How will these past successes influence Team Lithuania’s chances for Gold in 2011???
Please allow me to share with you some facts to shed some light on Lithuania’s
dominance of the Tournament over the years.
Since 1935 there have been 37 EuroBasket Tournaments take place.
Due to the occupation of Lithuania by Soviet Russia, Lithuania was only able to participate in 12
of these Tournaments with a team representing Lithuania wearing the
Amber, Green and Red national uniform.
So please keep this in mind – Played in only 12 out of 37 EuroBasket Tournaments
Lithuania is 7th overall in medals
Lithuania is 3rd over all in Gold medals
Quite an accomplishment considering they played in only 35% of the Tournaments
Now what about the players?
Here is a list of players that received the MVP award for the entire Tournament
1937 – Pranas Lubinis
1939 – Mykolas Ruzgys
1995 – Šarūnas Marčiulionis
2003 – Šarūnas Jasikevičius
Here are the players that received the MVP award while playing on the
U.S.S.R. team during the occupation years.
1965 – Modestas Paulauskas
1985 - Arvydas Sabonis
Twice players from Team LIETUVA were the Top Scorers of the Championship
1937 – Pranas Lubinis
1995 - Šarūnas Marčiulionis
As you can see Lithuania has a history of winning and there is good reason to believe that this history will repeat itself in 2011. The players and the fans are still sky high after their come from no where win of the Bronze in last year‘s World Basketball Championship held in Turkey. Their only loss in that Tournament was to the Gold Medal winning team of the USA.
Combine that with the fact that they will be playing in Lithuania in front of Lithuanian fans that have traveled from all over the globe to cheer on their team and you have the formula for success.
So mark your calendars and make you reservations.
Round 1 is from 31 August to 5 September
This is the Elimination Round
This round will be played in the cities of Alytus, Klaipėda, Panevėzys and Šiauliai
There will be four groups of six teams fighting to go to the next round
All of Team Lithuania‘s Round 1 games will be played in Panevėzys.
Round 2 will be from 7 to 12 September
There will be two groups of six teams competing to go on to the Final Round
All of these games will be played in Vilnius in the Siemans Arena
Round 3 is the Medal Round
The eight remaining teams will do battle to see who goes home with the Gold
This round will be from 14 to 18 September
All of these games will be played in Kaunas in their new state of the art arena
We will keep you informed about the ticket sales as the information is released.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION ABOUT THE PROGRAMME, VENUES AND TEAMS:
So make plans to come to LIETUVA to support
YOUR home team!!!
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