The first Lithuanian basketball championship was held in the 1992/93 season. Since then, the trophy has been played 27 times, Vilnius Zalgiris has become the national champion 22 times. At the same time, the team from Kaunas participated in all 27 finals. The tournament is held in two stages. First, 12 teams (last season 11) sort things out in the regular season. then the top eight advance to the playoffs. Match meetings in the quarter-finals and semi-finals last up to three wins, in the final up to four.
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One team league
As we have already noted, Kaunas Zalgiris most often becomes the champion of Lithuania. Of course, such predictability does not benefit Lithuanian basketball, although the LKL is one of the ten strongest basketball leagues in Europe. Last year, the dominance of the “white-greens” was interrupted by the Rytas club. This season, the fight in the championship promises to be even more intense. It remains to talk about the strongest teams of the Lithuanian Basketball League and determine which of them can compete with Kaunas.
- Zalgiris Kaunas
- Rytas Vilnius
Basketball club Zalgiris (Green Forest) was founded back in 1944. During its existence, the team won the Lithuanian championship 34 times, was the champion of the USSR, and in 1999 the “white-greens” won the Euroleague. Zalgiris is the oldest and most titled club in Lithuania. Today, in addition to the Lithuanian championship, the team is fighting for the Euroleague playoffs. At the start of the current championship, Zalgiris won seven matches and now confidently leads the standings. The team is the most likely contender for the title of Lithuanian Champion.
Rytas enters the season as the current champion of Lithuania, this is the only team that was able to take away the championship monopoly from Zalgiris. The Rytas club was founded in 1964, in addition to the championship titles in their country, the “red-blacks” won the ULEB Cup and the European Cup. For a long time Rytas played in the Euroleague. The team didn’t get off to a good start this season, losing three out of eight matches. Things are going very badly for the “red-blacks” in the Champions League. Rytas is in last place in the group, having won only one match. Despite the not very successful start, Vilnius are still considered one of the main favorites of the current LKL championship.
Jonava Basketball Club was founded in 1999. The team played in the lower divisions for some time. Only last year, Jonava made it to the top league of Lithuanian basketball. Already in the debut season, the “white-blue” made it to the quarterfinals. Jonava does not yet have high-profile titles, but this season she can seriously aim for a championship medal. Today, the “white-blue” are in second place, having lost only one match out of eight.
The highest achievement in Šiauliai in the LKL was bronze medals, the team has never risen higher. In the international arena, the club also performs without much success. Finished the last championship in fourth place. In the current championship, the “black-and-yellows” are still in sixth place, having won exactly half of the matches. Will Siauliai be able to seriously claim the gold of the championship, we will see in the near future.
The team from Panevėžys was founded in 1964 but has never won any titles. However, in the last championship, the “burgundy-whites” reached the final, where they lost to the Rytas club. As you can see, the “burgundy-whites” have champion ambitions, which is confirmed by the standings of the current championship. Lietkabelis takes third place, showing a solid game. There is every reason to believe that this season Lietkabelis will be able to compete for the championship gold.