History

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.

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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 Povilonis, A. Šidlauskas and others. Notableboarding 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.

1964

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 Urbonasand others.

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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 inBaltic 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 2005 as Panevėžys and in 2012 as Lietkabelis), they also won bronze medals twice as well (in 2008 and 2011 as Techasas).

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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.

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