New-look Siauliai hope to continue Triobet BBL dominance

Lithuanian side Siauliai can easily be considered the most successful Triobet BBL team of the past three years, having claimed the Baltic crown three years in a row now. However, continuing their dominance at the Triobet BBL Cup 2016 in Valmiera will be no easy task for a club that is very much undergoing a rebuild.

 

The summer saw huge roster turnaround in Siauliai, with the main thing the new squad sharing with last year’s team being the yellow-and-black uniforms and not much else.

The departure of coach Gediminas Petrauskas, who had been at the helm of the club since 2012, is particularly noticeable and his newly promoted former assistant Vaidas Pauliukenas will have big shoes to fill.

Still, the new coach remains up-beat ahead of the start of Triobet BBL Cup: "Of course, we are going to this competition with the aim of winning it."

Although the only players remaining from last year’s squad are youngsters Arunas Sajavicius and Tadas Pazera, Siauliai have once again put together a competitive roster for the season ahead, opting for a youthful and ambitious team.

Shooting guard Darius Gvezdauskas, who returns to Siauliai after a four-year break, will be the oldest player at the club only at 28-years-old. The only other player not to be born in the nineties is the 27-year-old Ghanaian-American Asenso Ampim who has already had a one-year spell in the Baltics previously, when he represented TLU Kalev in 2013-2014.

There are three more American players on the roster – Devin Patterson, A.J. West and Tre Bowman.

In addition, Siauliai have brought in some local talent as well, namely big man Martynas Echodas on loan from Lithuanian champs Zalgiris. Donatas Sabeckis, a versatile perimeter player who dominated in Lithuania’s second division NKL last season, will also be a name to watch out for.

Siauliai will face off their historical Baltic rivals Ventspils in the first Semi-Final of the Triobet BBL Cup on Saturday, September 24 at 15:00.

TROPHY CASE
Nine-time LKL bronze-medal winners
Three-time Triobet BBL champions
Three-time Triobet BBL bronze-medal winners
One-time LKF Cup runners-up
Four-time LKF Cup bronze-medal winners

One-time FIBA Europe Cup (Conference North) bronze-medal winners