With many new teams, the specialist from Serbia will make his official debut this Sunday in the home arena with “Pieno Žvaigždes” of Pasvaly.
In the pre-season, Panevėžys won five of the six matches and ended the pre-season with the R. Sargūnas Cup.
N. Čanakas talked about the preparations for the season, the upcoming fight and the team’s newcomers in an interview for “kklietkabelis.lt”.
– How do you evaluate the training cycle?
Preparations for the season went well. We spent most of the time without a full team, but I think we can still prepare well for the season. Of course, things always look good before the first game, but we will see if that is the case after the last whistle on Sunday.
How does the team feel about welcoming the new season?
– Feeling bad. “It was good that we won the R. Sargūnas, especially in the last game before the start of the season, but we did not think too much about the victory.
– Where do you see the biggest benefits of your team?
– I think our main force this season should be defensive. We have a very mobile team. I wonder what our reaction will be to the actions of our opponents when we stop playing friendlies, but the official matches and everything will happen with more communication.
Nine players left the team during the off-season. How difficult is it to implement everything from scratch?
When a lot of basketball players change teams, it is not uncommon for it to be difficult. We need to re-learn what we did last season. It is known that coaches have the biggest responsibilities. Personally, I enjoy my team.
– Among others: Grantas Vasiliauskas, Vytenis Lipkevičius and Gabrielius Maldūnas. How important is it to save the last two?
The conservation of Gabriel and Vytenis is crucial. Everyone understands that they are our leaders, not only on the pitch, but also in the seats and in the locker room. When I renewed my contract with 7bet-Lietkabel, my first goal was to keep both players in the team and I’m very happy I did.
The group is joined by young talent Mantas Rubštavičius and Paulius Murrauskas. What interest have they left so far?
– Everyone knows that Mantas and Paulius are very talented. The main question is how they will manage to adapt to the team and adapt to the higher levels of men’s basketball. So far, I like their work and attitude, I hope it does not change and they will try to improve further.
– Gyorgy Goloman and Kristian Kullamae at the European Championships. In what form do they join the team?
Gyorgy does not have a major role in the Hungarian national team, so maybe he will need more time to reach his best form. Kristianas is one of the most important players in the Estonian national team, he came to Panevėžys with great confidence. They both really add a lot of quality to us on the pitch.
– What are the main goals of the team this season?
– My goal is for us to go to every game just to win. The most important thing is this attitude and after that we will be able to talk about the results. I really hope we will play as a team to help each other defend and defend hard. We have to play unselfishly on both sides of the court.
– It is said that Betsafe-LKL will be stronger this season. What do you think?
The fact that the league has strengthened compared to last season. I have been in Panevėžys for the fifth year and I think there will never be such a competition because it will be this season. Each team has their own ambitions, good coaches and good players.
– What do you think before the first game of the season against Pieno Zvaigžde?
Pasval’s team is a completely different team this season. Ramūnas Cvirka is a good coach, his team always plays hard and to the end. If we want to win, we must do our best. One hundred percent energy and concentration – this is what I will demand of my players not only in the first game, but also throughout the season.
September 25 “7bet-Lietkabelis” will host “Milk Stars” at home on October 9. Kaunas “Žalgiris” will visit Panevėžys on October 19. The first home game of the Eurocup against Ulm Ratiopharm from Germany is waiting for October 22. Vilnius “Rytas” will come to Panevėžys.
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