Siauliai – young, ambitious and victory-thirsty

Only two days separate us from the Olybet BBL Cup and the Baltic Basketball League (BBL) has prepared the third of four interviews with the participating teams. Up on centre stage – last season’s BBL champions Siauliai.

 

We talked to Coach Gediminas Petrauskas and newly assigned team captain Vytas Sulskis about the short-term goals of the team, the changes it went through throughout the summer and the upcoming battles in the Olybet BBL Cup.

Last year, Siauliai started the season slowly, but quickly climbed up the ladders and finally finished on top – the Lithuanian side became BBL champions for the first time in team history. Although the club had to look for replacement for all the foreign and a couple of domestic players they had last season, Gediminas Petrauskas is happy that in three years, this roster stayed most intact. Hopefully, that will help the team build on last season’s results.

When asked to describe the team he hopes to have this season, Petrauskas was quick to answer – fighters: “We want to be a team that plays hard every single game. We are definitely not giving away a victory easily to any team.”

Vytas Sulskis also had his share: “Although we’ve all been together only for a brief time, it’s clear that this young team will be very ambitious and victory-thirsty. We’ve really got an incredible group of guys here.”

When the talk went on to the teams threatening to steal away the champion’s title in BBL, the coach was wary: “It’s still way too early to try naming the strongest teams, but I am absolutely sure that this season will be full of twists and turns!”

According to the head coach, the Olybet BBL Cup, which takes place in Liepaja this weekend, will be a dress rehearsal before the upcoming season: “I am already expecting a solid showcase from my players. Although there may be quite a few flaws in our game, we hope to start building a solid base for our upcoming games and hopefully, start building it with a trophy already on our shelves.”

Can Siauliai prolong their dominance in the league? We will find that out this weekend in Latvia, where Siauliai face TU/Rock and either Ventspils or the home crowd driven Liepaja/Triobet.