Janavicius: "We're on the right track"

PRIENAI – Zygimantas Janavicius has been one of the cornerstones to the success Tonybet Prienai has had over the past couple of years. This season is no different, as the 25-year-old playmaker leads the Baltic Basketball League (BBL) the league in assists.


BBL.net spoke with point guard from Alytus, who is averaging 7.3 points and 5.0 assists per game, about the season so far and the team’s chances in the Quarter-Final duel against Swedish side Norrkoping Dolphins.

First of all, congratulations on becoming the best assistman in the BBL. What does an award like this mean to you?

I am obviously very excited and happy about it, but as one of my former coaches told me – players are made good by a good team. First and foremost, this award is a result of the whole team’s effort.

The season is going well so far – you finished second in your group in the regular season and went on to beat Juventus in the Eight-Final. How would you rate Tonybet’s performance in the league so far?

I’d rate it well. So far, we’ve been on track on the goals we’ve set for ourselves before the season and we’re hoping to continue on this path.

In the first round of the playoffs, you lost the first leg against Juventus by three points. Did you feel any pressure before the return leg in Prienai?

We didn’t feel any pressure whatsoever, because we were playing at home and three points isn’t that big of a difference. We believed that we can beat them and cover the margin.

You will face the Norrkoping Dolphins in the Quarter-Final and will be playing both games on the road. Is it a big advantage for the opponents? How does the team feel before the trip to Sweden?

The mood inside the team is good, because we won an important game in the Lithuanian League [against Dzukija Alytus]. Although we’re feeling good about our chances, the opponents will have a big advantage, playing both games at home. A home court is always helpful.

There are only eight teams still in the race for the BBL trophy this year. In your mind, which teams have the best chances of going all the way?

Personally, I would point out last year’s champions Ventspils, Tartu Rock and Pieno Zvaigzdes. I haven’t had the chance to see Pyrinto play myself, but I’ve heard a lot of good things about that team.

You’re not that young of a player anymore, but do you feel you have improved any specific part of your game?

Every season gives you more and more experience, and now I feel much stronger psychologically, which has allowed me to improve my long-range shooting.

So far, you’ve spent your entire professional career in Lithuania. Have you ever had thoughts about trying yourself abroad?

I haven’t had the right circumstances to go abroad, but I’d to give it a go next season.