|Donatas Zavackas selected the top Lithuanian playing abroad in last week's games
- by Eurobasket Center
We bring you last week's top performances from Lithuanians who are playing abroad and who all have had prior experience of national team duties at youth or senior level.
#1. This week's number one is an experienced former U20 international forward Donatas Zavackas (203-80, college: Pittsburgh, currently plays in VTB United League), who plays in Latvia. He could not help VEF Riga (11-7) in their last game. Despite Zavackas' very good performance the fourth-placed VEF Riga was crushed 104-82 on the road by the leading Khimky in the group B of VTB United League.
He was the second best scorer with 19 points. Zavackas also added 6 rebounds in 31 minutes on the court.
It's Zavackas' first season with the team.
This year he averages: 9.9ppg, 4.4rpg, 1.2apg, 2FGP: 42.9%, 3FGP: 48.3%(58-120) and FT: 71.0% in the 24 games he played so far.
Zavackas played for the Lithuanian U20 national team thirteen years ago.
#2. Second place goes to former University international center Michailis Anisimovas (214-84, currently plays in Ukraine). He led Budivelnyk to a victory over the closely-ranked Azovmash (25-14) 80-63 in the Ukrainian Superleague last Wednesday.
Anisimovas was MVP of the game. He recorded 18 points and grabbed 4 rebounds.
It was the game of the round between two top 4 ranked teams. Budivelnyk Kyiv (28-11) is placed first in the Superleague.
Anisimovas is one of the most experienced players in a team as it's his fourth year in Budivelnyk's roster.
Anisimovas has relatively good stats this season: 10.1ppg, 4.3rpg, 1.1apg, 2FGP: 52.5% and FT: 58.1%.
He has a dual citizenship: Lithuanian and Ukrainian.
Former BC Siauliai starter played for the Lithuanian university national team in 2007.
#3. The Lithuanian player who performed third best last week abroad was an international swingman Jonas Maciulis (199-85, currently plays in Greece). Maciulis contributed to Panathinaikos' victory against the closely-ranked PAOK (17-9) 71-61 in the Greek A1 on Saturday night.
He scored 8 points and grabbed 6 rebounds in 28 minutes.
It was the game of the round between two top 4 ranked teams. Panathinaikos Athens (21-1) is placed first in the A1.
It was his team's 16th consecutive victory in a row.
They will play only one more game in the Regular Season. And that game will be critical.
This year Maciulis' overall stats are: 9.2ppg, 4.7rpg, 1.2apg, 2FGP: 57.3%(43-75), 3FGP: 39.2% and FT: 69.6% in the 26 games.
He is also a member of the Lithuanian senior national team.
#4. Point guard Mantas Kalnietis (195-86, agency: Interperformances, currently plays in VTB United League) contributed to Lokomotiv's victory against the closely-ranked Unics Kazan (14-4) 77-65 in the VTB United League in Thursday night's game.
Kalnietis scored 10 points, grabbed 6 rebounds and dished 4 assists.
Lokomotiv Kuban (12-6) is placed third in group B.
This season Kalnietis has relatively solid stats: 13.5ppg, 2.7rpg and 4.1apg.
He is also Lithuanian national team player.
#5. International center Antanas Kavaliauskas (207-84, also represented by Interperformances, college: Texas A&M, currently plays in Latvia) is a teammate of previously mentioned Donatas Zavackas. But that was another game of his team in Latvian LBL which we would like to mention.
Kavaliauskas contributed to a 2-point VEF Riga's victory against the closely-ranked Ventspils (8-2) 74-72.
He scored 7 points, had 9 rebounds and dished 4 assists in 26 minutes.
It was the game of the round between two top 4 ranked teams. VEF Riga (19-1) is placed fourth in the LBL.
It was his team's 14th consecutive victory in a row.
Kavaliauskas has reliable stats this year: 10.8ppg, 4.9rpg and 1.4apg in the 20 games.
He plays currently for the Lithuanian national team.
#6. Guard Vaidotas Peciukas (199-82, college: Hawaii, currently plays in Romania), who plays in the Romanian Liga Nationala was not able to help Targu Mures (23-7) in their last game on Sunday. Despite Peciukas' very good performance the league leader Targu Mures was defeated 83-78 at home by the lower-ranked Ploiesti (#3).
He was the top scorer with 20 points. Peciukas also added 6 rebounds (was perfect 8-for-8 from the free throw line).
Peciukas' stats this season are: 14.2ppg, 3.0rpg, 2.6apg and 1.1spg.
He is a former university international player as he played for the Lithuanian team eight years ago.
#7. Former international forward Dainius Salenga (197-77, currently plays in Ukraine) is a teammate of previously mentioned Michailis Anisimovas. However that was another game of his team in Ukrainian Superleague which brought him to that list.
Salenga was not able to secure a victory for Budivelnyk (28-11) in their game against Azovmash (25-14).
He scored 8 points and grabbed 5 rebounds in 20 minutes.
The league leader Budivelnyk lost 73-77 on their home court in Kyiv to the lower-ranked (#3) Azovmash.
This year Salenga's total stats are: 8.3ppg, 2.9rpg and 2.0apg in the 44 games.
He used to play for the Lithuanian national team
eight years ago.
#8. Point guard Arvydas Eitutavicius (188-82, college: American, currently plays in Poland) was the main contributor in Anwil's victory against the leader PGE Turow (23-9) 75-63 in the Polish TBL last Thursday.
Eitutavicius was the best player in that game. He scored 17 points.
Anwil Wloclawek (18-14) is placed fifth in Places 1-6 group.
Eitutavicius has averaged so far 7.1ppg, 1.7rpg and 1.3apg.
He used to play for the Lithuanian national team
back in 2010.
#9. International small forward Simas Jasaitis (202-82, currently plays in VTB United League) is a teammate of previously mentioned Mantas Kalnietis. But that was another game of his team in VTB United League we would like to talk about.
Jasaitis couldn't help Lokomotiv (12-6) in their game against Unics Kazan (14-4).
He scored 7 points and grabbed 6 rebounds.
Lokomotiv (#3) was edged 68-65 on their home court in Kuban by the second-ranked Unics Kazan in the group B of VTB United League.
Jasaitis has averaged so far 7.5ppg, 3.7rpg and 1.2apg.
He is also in the roster of the Lithuanian national team.
#10. Point guard Sarunas Jasikevicius (192-76, college: Maryland, currently plays in Spain) managed to help Regal FC Barcelona in a 1-point victoryagainst one of league's weakest teams Lagun Aro GBC (8-26) 90-89 in the Spanish ACB last Thursday.
Jasikevicius recorded 5 points in 11 minutes.
Regal FC Barcelona (23-11) is placed third in the ACB.
It was his team's third consecutive victory in a row.
They will play only one more game in the Regular Season. And now that game is very crucial.
Jasikevicius has averaged so far 5.6ppg and 2.0apg in the 24 games.
He is an international player who is currently on the senior Lithuanian National Team roster.
#11. Former international guard Martynas Gecevicius (193-88, currently plays in Greece) contributed to Olympiacos' victory against the eighth-ranked Apollon Patras 77-63 in the Greek A1 in Wednesday night's game.
He recorded only 3 points in 4 minutes on the court.
Gecevicius has averaged so far 8.4ppg, 1.5rpg and 1.4apg in the 17 games.
He used to play for the Lithuanian national team
two years ago.
#12. Former U21 international point guard Linas Lekavicius (186-84, college: American, currently plays in Russia) contributed to Universitet-Yugra's victory against the closely-ranked Ural Ekaterinburg 87-79 in the Russian Superleague (second division) last Tuesday.
Lekavicius recorded a double-double by scoring 14 points and getting 12 rebounds. He also added 9 assists.
Lekavicius belongs to league's best passers (ranked #3) and also on the list of most steals (fifth place).
He has very reliable stats this season: 12.0ppg, 6.3rpg, 5.1apg and 1.8spg.
Lekavicius used to play for the Lithuanian U21 national team
back in 2003.
#13. U20 international shooting guard Vytenis Cizauskas (190-92, currently plays in Spain) couldn't help Blancos de Rueda in their game against G.Canaria 2014 in the Spanish ACB.
He recorded 9 points in 25 minutes.
His team was badly defeated by 16 points 78-62.
This year Cizauskas averages only 2.6ppg in the 25 games.
He is also Lithuanian U20 national team player.
#14. Former international guard Donatas Slanina (192-77, currently plays in Italy) couldn't help Trenkwalder RE in their game against Lottomatica Roma in the Italian SerieA.
Slanina scored 5 points.
His team was defeated 74-69.
This season he averages only 4.1ppg.
Slanina used to play for the Lithuanian national team
back in 2004.
#15. Former U20 international guard Mantas Cesnauskis (191-81, currently plays in Poland) contributed to an easy victory against the leader AZS Koszalin crushing them 96-66 in the Polish TBL last Friday.
He scored only 2 points and added 3 assists in 17 minutes.
Cesnauskis has averaged so far 5.9ppg, 1.5rpg and 2.1apg in the 35 games.
He used to play for the Lithuanian U20 national team
thirteen years ago.
The list of other players, who all have Lithuanian passport but never been selected to any of Lithuanian national teams:
#1. Experienced Christopher Young (206-F/C-79, college: Michigan, currently plays in Belgium) contributed to a Okapi Aalstar's victory against the league leader Base Oostende (20-8) 95-84 in the Belgian Ethias League on Tuesday night.
Young recorded 8 points and grabbed 13 rebounds in 27 minutes.
It was the game of the round between two top 4 ranked teams. Generali Okapi Aalstar (17-11) is placed fourth in the Ethias League.
Young is currently third on the league's list of best rebounders and also on the list of best blockers (fifth place).
He has averaged so far 9.7ppg and 6.4rpg in the 30 games he played so far.
Young is a naturalized American.
Strangely he has never played in Lithuania.
#2. Benas Veikalas (192-G-83, college: Metro St., currently plays in Germany), who plays in the German BBL could not help Telekom Baskets (18-16) in their last game on Saturday. Despite Veikalas' good performance Telekom Baskets was defeated 89-80 on the road by the second-ranked EWE Baskets.
He scored 12 points.
Veikalas averaged so far 11.4ppg, 2.6rpg and 1.3apg.