|Leagues||Lithuanian Basketball League
|Team colors||Burgundy, white, pale gold
|Head coach||Kazys Maksvytis|
BC Lietkabelis (Lithuanian: Krepšinio klubas Lietkabelis) is a Lithuanian professional basketball team based in Panevėžys, Lithuania, participating in the Lithuanian Basketball League and the Baltic Basketball League. BC Techasas had many financial problems at the 2011–2012 season start, they even boycotted a LKF Cup game. Because of that Darius Gaudiešius sold the basketball club to Algirdas Kriščiūnas, Antanas Kazys Liorentas and Kazimieras Antanynas. Due to the club owner changes, club got back his legendary name Lietkabelis.
Basketball club Lietkabelis history begins in 1964. The club’s name was not changing for straight 32 years. The home-court games were played in Aukštaitija Sports Palace, which was opened in 1965. The construction of the palace was initiated by V. Variakojis. Most of the team‘s players contributed with their own hands in the palace's construction process. At that period, the team was represented by such sports masters, like: S. Atraškevičius, J. Balakauskas, A. Butkūnas, V. Juchnevičius, E. Kuodys, A. Matačiūnas, R. Petrauskas, R. Sargūnas, V. Stalilionis, J. Zičkus, E. Žurauskas, V. Variakojis and others. Until the establishment of the Lithuanian Basketball League in 1993, Lietkabelis was among the country’s strongest basketball teams. During these times, Panevėžys club, trained by R. Sargūnas and V. Paškauskas from 1964 to 1996, became Lithuania’s champions twice (1985, 1988), won third place three times (1983, 1984 and 1991) and qualified into the Lithuania’s Cup competition finals two times (1985, 1986). Other performances are as follows: 1964, 1965, 1968 and 1989 – 5th places, 1966 and 1969 – 6th places, 1970, 1971, 1980, 1986 and 1993 – 7th places, 1973 and 1977 – 11-12 places, 1975 – 11th place, 1976 – 9-10 places, 1979 – 9th place, 1981 – 8th place and 1982, 1987, 1990, 1992 – 4th places.
1978–1986: playing in USSR Division I
From 1978 to 1986, Lietkabelis represented Lithuania in USSR I division tournament (second-tier competition in the Soviet Union). In more than three decades, many notable basketball persons played for the Panevėžys’ team: Algimantas Baziukas, Algirdas Brazys, Raimundas Čivilis, V. Dambrauskas, A. Kairys, M. Karnišovas, Jonas Kazlauskas, Algirdas Kriščiūnas, Rimas Kurtinaitis, Vitoldas Masalskis, O. Moisejenka, Gintaras Leonavičius, Rolandas Penikas, Algimantas Pavilonis, A. Šidlauskas and others. Notable boarding sports school members, who later been a part of the Lithuania national basketball team, trained their skills in Lietkabelis. Such players are: Gintaras Einikis, Dainius Adomaitis, Alvydas Pazdrazdis, Romanas Brazdauskis, Gvidonas Markevičius and others. The team long-time was coached by V. Stankevičius, a Lietkabelis factory director. The factory was team’s main sponsor.
1993: Creating the Lithuanian Basketball League
In 1993, basketball club Lietkabelis was one of the eight Lithuanian Basketball League founders. From 1996, after three decades, Lietkabelis factory left basketball world. The team’s names were changing constantly: Kalnapilis (1996-1999), Sema (1999-2000), Panevėžys (2000-2001 ir 2004-2007), Preventa-Malsena (2001-2003), Aukštaitija (2003-2004) and Techasas (2007-2012). From January 2012, club’s name was reverted to the legendary one – Lietkabelis. In 20 LKL seasons the team’s jersey was worn by such notable Lithuanian basketball players: Gintaras Bačianskas (19,7 points per game in LKL), Gintaras Kadžiulis, Kęstutis Kemzūra, Mindaugas Lukauskis, Paulius Staškūnas, Žydrūnas Urbonas and others. In 1999-2000 season, Panevėžys team (named Sema at that time) participated in international tournament – FIBA Korać Cup for the first time after the country’s independence. In 2004-2005 season and from 2007 to 2012, Panevėžys team participated in Baltic Basketball League’s second division (renamed to BBL Challenge Cup in 2007). They also played in the BBL Elite Division from 2005 to 2007 and from 2012 to 2014. During ten years in this league, the team achieved first place twice in the BBL Challenge Cup (in 2005 as Panevėžys and in 2012 as Lietkabelis), they also won bronze medals twice as well (in 2008 and 2011 as Techasas). They won the BBL Elite Division, they won the bronze medals in 2016. In the LKL, the highest the team achieved was the quaterfinals, though they did come close in 2007 to reaching the semifinals, losing a very tough series to BC Šiauliai 1:2. In 2016, they also had a tough series against BC Lietuvos rytas, fighting hard in a losing sweep, though only lost the two away games in Vilnius 74:79 and 78:83.
In October 2008, the brand-new Cido Arena was opened in Panevėžys, which has 5656 seats for the basketball spectators. It became new Panevėžys basketball team home-hourt, replacing the Aukštaitija Sports Palace after 43 years.
2015–present: participating in European competitions
On July 29, 2015, the club was invited to join the FIBA Europe Cup tournament, which is the alternative version of the 2nd tier European tournament Eurocup, organized by FIBA. Although, just before the dawning ceremony, it was announced that 56 teams would participate instead of 64 and Lietkabelis was not one of these.
On July 21, 2016, Lietkabelis was invited to play in the 2016–17 EuroCup season. The club previously registered again in the FIBA Europe Cup. Following it, the team signed notable veterans: Mindaugas Lukauskis, Kšyštof Lavrinovič and Darjuš Lavrinovič who formed the core of the team. The positive preseason resulted in record sales of over 700 season tickets just on the sales opening day. The LKL season began historically by defeating Žalgiris Kaunas 90–86 for the first time after 16 years. On January 30, Lietkabelis defeated Žalgiris once again, 79:77 at home thanks to a last second shot by Lorenzo Williams. Lietkabelis also defeated BC Lietuvos rytas 93:85 and 86:77 at home, becoming the first team to defeat both Žalgiris and Lietuvos rytas twice at home in the regular season. In the 2017 King Mindaugas cup, Lietkabelis made all the way to the finals, losing 63:84 to Žalgiris in a match that Lietkabelis fought hard until the 4th quater, when Žalgiris made a final run. Lietkabelis also won the season series against another favorite, BC Neptūnas, and finished in 3rd place in the standings for the first time in club history.
On October 12, 2016, Donatas Tarolis buzzer-beater guaranteed Lietkabelis first 89–88 Eurocup victory in the history of the club against KK MZT Skopje. Lietkabelis continued their success in Zagreb, defeating the Croatian champions KK Cedevita 80–76. Another remarkable play was performed by Donatas Tarolis, whose put-back slam secured the victory with just 13 seconds remaining. On November 23, the record of attendance was achieved, with 4427 spectators during the second game versus Cedevita, though Lietkabelis lost a tough rematch 68:69. Lietkabelis qualified to the Eurocup Top16, with a 3-5 record in the group stage with another win against MZT Skopje, though lost both games to the top teams in the group - CB Gran Canaria and BC Nizhny Novgorod. Lietkabelis played in Group F against former tournament champion BC Khimki, and german giants FC Bayern München and ratiopharm Ulm. While Lietkabelis didn't manage to defeat Khimki and Bayern, they won both games against a powerful ratiopharm Ulm team, and finished the Eurocup Top16 phase with a repectable 2-4 record.
Note: Flags indicate national team eligibility at FIBA sanctioned events. Players may hold other non-FIBA nationality not displayed.
BC Lietkabelis roster
|Season||League||Pos.||Significant Events||Baltic League||Pos.||LKF Cup||European Competitions|
|1999–00||LKL||6||Quarterfinalist||–||–||–||3 Korać Cup group stage|
|2008–09||LKL||9||–||Challenge Cup||7||Eight finalist||–|
|2010–11||LKL||6||Quarterfinalist||Challenge Cup||3||Second round||–|
|2013–14||LKL||9||–||Top 16||Fourth round||–|
To appear in this section a player must be either:
- A player who has played at least 3 seasons (if foreign player) or 5 seasons (if Lithuanian player) for the club.
- A player who has won an individual award.
- A Lithuanian player who has played for the Lithuanian national basketball team.
- A foreign international player who has significantly contributed into the results of the club.
- A Lithuanian player who has significantly contributed into the results of the club.
- Techasas boycotted LKF Cup game (Lithuanian)
- Algirdas Kriščiūnas, Antanas Kazys Liorentas and Kazimieras Antanynas bought BC Techasas (Lithuanian)
- Techasas renamed to Lietkabelis (Lithuanian)
- Istorija : KK Lietkabelis (Lithuanian)
- "FIBA Europos taurės dalyvių sąraše – penki Lietuvos klubai". BasketNews.lt. Retrieved 29 July 2015.
- "FIBA paskutinę akimirką iš turnyro dalyvių sąrašo išbraukė "Lietkabelį" ir "Vytautą"". BasketNews.lt. Retrieved 3 August 2015.
- "Oficialu: "Lietkabelis" varžysis Europos taurėje". BasketNews.lt. Retrieved 21 July 2016.
- Pulkovskis, Edgaras. ""Lietkabelio" aukštaūgių tandemą sudarys broliai Lavrinovičiai". Krepsinis.net. Retrieved 13 August 2016.
- "Pirmąją prekybos abonementais į "Lietkabelio" varžybas dieną – rekordas". JP.lt. Retrieved 17 August 2016.
- "LKL starte košmaras favoritams: "Žalgiris" krito Panevėžyje". Krepsinis.lt. Retrieved 5 October 2016.
- "20-ies taškų persvarą išbarstęs "Lietkabelis" Europos taurėje laimėjo paskutinę sekundę". 24sek.lt. Retrieved 12 October 2016.
- "K. Lavrinovičiaus ir Ž. Skučo tandemas atvedė "Lietkabelį" į dramatišką pergalę Zagrebe". Krepsinis.lt. Retrieved 19 October 2016.
- "Panevėžyje – naujas lankomumo rekordas". Krepsinis.net. Retrieved 24 November 2016.
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