|Leagues||Lithuanian Basketball League,
Baltic Basketball League,
FIBA Europe Cup
1994–2007, 2012–2013, 2014–2015
|Team colors||Navy blue and White
|Head coach||Virginijus Šeškus|
|Championships||1 NKL Champions
2 LKF Cup
2 Lithuanian Basketball League
BC Prienai (Lithuanian: Krepšinio klubas Prienai), also known by the sponsor name BC Vytautas, is a professional basketball club based in Prienai and more recently taking up Birštonas. They play domestically in Lithuanian Basketball League and also compete in the Baltic Basketball League every year. During the 2008–09 season, then called Rūdupis they became the champion of the NKL and won the challenge match for a slot in the LKL. In their debut LKL season Rūdupis took seventh place, while next two seasons brought BC Prienai two bronze LKL medals. BC Prienai played in Eurocup 2011-12 with moderate success; the team managed to win 3 games out of 6, but nonetheless failed to qualify for the next stage. More recently, the team has become a strong competitor in domestic tournaments, more than once upsetting teams such as BC Žalgiris and BC Lietuvos rytas.
1994–2010: Early years
The club was founded in 1994 as KK Prienų Taupomasis Bankas playing in the LKAL and were one of the top teams. They joined the NKL ever since its foundation in 2005. During this time period in the NKL, the team would change names as it seemed every season, Prienai had their ups and downs, such as going from third seed in their group to not making the playoffs next season, but the major victories were yet to come.
During 2008–09 season, then called Rūdupis, the club, for the first time in the club history, became NKL champions downing Meresta Pakruojis in Game 7 of the finals. Because of that, BC Rūdupis got their slot in the Lithuanian Basketball League.
2010–2014: Turning heads
During the 2010–2011 season, BC Rūdupis won the LKF Cup Bronze medals and was only one step away from Gold or Silver medals as they lost a thriller against the legendaryŽalgiris Kaunas 73–75, but the surprises from BC Rūdupis in the 2010–2011 season weren't finished yet, as BC Rūdupis defeated Lithuanian Basketball League champions Lietuvos rytas with result 96:82, during a LKL match at their home arena on 29 March 2011. On 15 April 2011, BC Rūdupis signed a contract with Rolandas Alijevas until the end of the season. In the LKL semi finals Rūdupis wasn't able to eliminate Lithuanian basketball powerhouse Lietuvos rytas as they lost both matches (first match: 75:88, second match: 69:96). Rūdupis then played against Juventus in the LKL Bronze final, they won the first game at Prienai with a result of 79:65, then won the second game, this time on the road in Utena with a result 98:73. The third game took place in Prienai where Rūdupis won a thriller 84:83, thus winning the series with a result 3:0 and becoming Lithuanian Basketball League Bronze medalists for the first time in club's history.
In 2011-2012 season, the team played in the Eurocup competition, finishing 3rd in the group, though failing to qualify to the playoffs. They repeated as bronze medal winners, this time defeating BC Šiauliai 3:1.
The 2012-2013 season was moderately successful for BC Prienai. The team played in the Eurocup, but again didn't move past the group stage. The team also reached the BBL finals, and won the LKF Cup against BC Pieno žvaigždės. Despite home court advantage, Prienai lost to BC Neptūnas in the bronze medal series.
In the 2013-2014 season, Lithuanian businessman Antanas Guoga sponsored the newly renamed BC TonyBet, the team once again won the LKF Cup when they pulled off a double upset, defeating Lietuvos rytas in the finals after upsetting BC Žalgiris in the semifinal. Prienai finished second in the LKL regular season, which even included a blowout win against Žalgiris Kaunas 101–83 at home. BC TonyBet made it to the semifinals for the fourth consecutive year, this time with a chance to qualify to the LKL finals for the first time ever, but lost to BC Neptūnas 0:2. In the bronze medal series, the team lost to Lietuvos rytas. Apart from the disappointing finish, it was one of the most successful seasons in club history.
2014–present: Setbacks & a new direction
The 2014–15 season was more of a write-off, as it started a rebuilding phase for the team. The team, having lost their main sponsor, longtime coach and much of the previous season's roster, played poorly. The team barely avoided relegation in the LKL, with a 23-game losing streak plummeting the team to the bottom of the standings. The team played better in the BBL, reaching the playoffs. Because of poor play, the team failed to qualify for the LKF Cup, losing it to Žalgiris after their successful previous two seasons.
In the 2015 off-season, BC Prienai announced a sponsorship deal with Birštonas mineral water company, will be changing their name to BC Birštono Vytautas for sponsorship reasons and also bringing back head coach Virginijus Šeškus. Having proper sponsorship, the club hopes to return to their competitive ways in the upcoming season. It was later corrected that the name will be BC Vytautas and that the club is going to be shared with the neighboring city of Birštonas, which hopefully would also expand the fanbase. Furthermore, on July 29, 2015, the club was invited to join the 2015–16 FIBA Europe Cup tournament, which is the alternative version of the 2nd tier European tournament Eurocup, organized by FIBA. Although, just before the drawing ceremony, it was announced that 56 teams will participate instead of 64 and Vytautas is not one of these 56. In this off-season BC Vytautas brought back former players Povilas Butkevičius, Vaidas Čepukaitis and Laimonas Kisielius, also resigning Prienai natives Domantas Šeškus, Paulius Ivanauskas and bringing in major reinforcement with Šarūnas Vasiliauskas, Vilmantas Dilys, Vytautas Šulskis, Gytis Sirutavičius. On 16 September 2015, Prienai announced their new logo and color change to blue and white as part of the sponsorship deal, though blue has been a traditional sports team color in the Prienai–Birštonas area.
On 30 December 2015, Prienai native Edvinas Šeškus was cleared to play for Vytautas, joining his father the head coach and his older brother Domantas. Because of injuries ruining the rotation, on 26 February 2016, Vytautas signed Tauras Jogėla. In the BBL playoffs, they lost to BC Nevėžis in an upset. Vytautas finished the LKL regular season with a 19-17 record, but lost in the quarterfinals to BC Juventus 2:3.
Before the 2016-2017 season, the team signed longtime Lithuanian national team player Tomas Delininkaitis. In addition to the LKL, the team also played in the FIBA Europe Cup. They easily finished 1st in the regular season group, defeating Mureș and TLÜ/Kalev. In the second round, the team finished second, losing only to Telekom Baskets Bonn. The loss at home, however, cost the team a place in the playoffs. BC Vytautas then entered the BBL playoffs, as one of the potential favorites to win. They easily defeated KK Parnu in the first round, before defeating Latvian champions BK Valmiera in the quaterfinals and Estonian champions BC Kalev/Cramo in the semifinals. In the finals, Vytautas faced LKL rival BC Pieno žvaigždės. After losing the first game at home 85:88, they won the away game 89:74, winning the series 174:162 on aggregate, and winning their first BBL championship. Injuries started hurting the team, and in the quaterfinals Vytautas lost to BC Lietkabelis 0:3.
Note: Flags indicate national team eligibility at FIBA sanctioned events. Players may hold other non-FIBA nationality not displayed.
BC Vytautas roster
Season by season
|Season||Tier||League||Pos.||Significant Events||Baltic League||Pos.||LKF Cup||European competitions|
|2009–10||1||LKL||7||Quarterfinalist||Challenge Cup||2||Second round||–|
|2010–11||1||LKL||3||Bronze medal||Elite Division||6||Third place||–|
|2011–12||1||LKL||3||Bronze medal||Elite Division||8||Fourth place||Played Eurocup|
|2012–13||1||LKL||4||Semifinalist||Elite Division||2||Champion||Played Eurocup|
|2014–15||1||LKL||9||–||Round of 16||Did not qualify||–|
|2015–16||1||LKL||5||Quarterfinalist||Round of 16||Fourth place||–|
|2016–17||1||LKL||6||Quarterfinalist||Champion||Fourth place||FIBA Europe Cup|
- Valdas Dabkus (2010; 2012)
- Povilas Butkevičius (2010–2012, 2015–2016)
- Gediminas Orelik (2010–2013)
- Dainius Šalenga (2011–2012, 2013, 2015–2016)
- Rolandas Alijevas (2011–2012)
- Saulius Kuzminskas (2011–2012)
- Gintaras Kadžiulis (2011–2014)
- Artūras Valeika (2012–2014)
- Mindaugas Lukauskis (2013–2014)
- Artūras Milaknis (2012-2013)
- Virginijus Šeškus (2008–2014, 2015–present)
December 1, 2013
|Scoring by quarter: 21–22, 29–13, 21–19, 30–29|
|Pts: Lukauskis 23
Rebs: Linkevičius 6
Asts: Valeika 9
|Pts: Jankūnas 13
Rebs: Jankūnas, K.Lavrinovič 6
Asts: Jasikevičius 3
March 29, 2014
|Scoring by quarter: 19–19, 23–19, 25–24, 17–14|
|Pts: Lukauskis 19
Rebs: Linkevičius 7
Asts: Ivanauskas 5
|Pts: Jankūnas 15
Rebs: Javtokas 14
Asts: Jankūnas 5
- "NKL čempionais tapo "Rūdupio" krepšininkai (foto)". BasketNews.lt. Retrieved 11 November 2011.
- ""Rūdupis" sutriuškino "Neptūną" ir iškovojo LKF taurės turnyro bronzą". Delfi.lt. Retrieved 11 November 2011.
- "LKF taurės pusfinalyje "Žalgiris" tik paskutinėmis akimirkomis palaužė "Rūdupį" (nuotraukos)". 15min.lt. Retrieved 11 November 2011.
- "LKL: Prienų "Rūdupis" sensacingai įveikė "Lietuvos rytą"". 15min.lt. Retrieved 11 November 2011.
- Pupininkas, Martynas. ""Rūdupis" pasiekė susitarimą su Alijevu". BasketNews.lt. Retrieved 11 November 2011.
- "Tritaškius fantastiškai metęs "Lietuvos rytas" pirmajame LKL pusfinalyje palaužė "Rūdupį"". 15min.lt. Retrieved 11 November 2011.
- Miklovas, Jonas. ""Lietuvos rytas" be didesnių problemų žengė į LKL finalą (video, foto, komentarai, statistika)". BasketNews.lt. Retrieved 11 November 2011.
- Miklovas, Jonas. "Pirmąjį mūšį dėl bronzos laimėjo "Rūdupis" (video, foto, komentarai, statistika)". BasketNews.lt. Retrieved 11 November 2011.
- Pupininkas, Martynas. "LKL mažasis finalas: "Rūdupis" sudavė dar vieną smūgį "Juventus" ekipai (video, komentarai, statistika)". BasketNews.lt. Retrieved 11 November 2011.
- Miklovas, Jonas. "LKL bronza pirmą kartą istorijoje atiteko "Rūdupiui" (video, foto, komentarai, statistika)". BasketNews.lt. Retrieved 11 November 2011.
- "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.