Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius is back in the Turkish Airlines Euroleague Qualifying Rounds with the only goal of making it back to the continental elite. Rytas has not lifted any trophy in the last three seasons, which makes the team even hungrier to do better in 2013-14. Rytas did not advance past the Euroleague regular season, missed the VTB League playoffs on a tiebreak to Donetsk and returned to the Lithuanian League final, bust lost against archrivals Zalgiris, which has stood in its way for every domestic title since 2010. But Rytas has never stopped fighting and carries an impressive winning tradition into this new campaign. Lietuvos Rytas's creation filled a hole left by what had been Vilnius's first great basketball club, Statyba, which finished third in the Soviet Union championship back in 1979. Rytas quickly earned a reputation as a top Lithuanian team and a hard-to-beat squad at any level, as it made it to the 2000 Saporta Cup semifinals, reached the Northern Europe Basketball League (NEBL) final that season and won the Lithuanian League to break a decade of domination by Zalgiris. In 2002, Rytas cemented its status as a domestic powerhouse by winning the NEBL title and adding another Lithuanian League crown. Rytas made its ULEB Cup debut in the 2003-04 season and advanced to the quarterfinals. The club went all the way in 2005 after beating Makedonikos for the title and a ticket to the 2005-06 Euroleague. Once in Europe's marquee competition, Rytas beat all of its regular season opponents at least once to get to the Top 16. Rytas also lifted the Baltic League and the Lithuanian League trophies that season. Rytas was back in the ULEB Cup Final in 2007 and though it lost against Real Madrid, the club earned its way to the Euroleague and successfully defended the Baltic League title. Rytas got back to the Euroleague Top 16 in the 2007-08 season, but lost three domestic finals against Zalgiris. Rytas bounced back with its best season ever and lifted five trophies. Chuck Eidson was the 2008-09 Eurocup MVP and Marius Petravicius earned Final Eight MVP honors as Rytas rallied past Khimki in unbelievable fashion to win its second continental title. Rytas added all four possible domestic titles for a dream campaign. In 2009-10, Rytas won the double in Lithuania to keep its spot in the Euroleague, but no more trophies have been claimed since. Rytas returned to the Top 16 in 2010-11 by winning its last three regular season games and was close to booking a spot in the playoffs for the first time. In 2011-12, Rytas made it to the Eurocup Finals, but lost against Valencia Basket in the semifinal. It also reached the Lithuanian League and Baltic League finals, both to Zalgiris. Now with head coach Dirk Bauermann running the show, Rytas will battle for a Euroleague spot while looking to add more hardware to its trophy case.
Eurocup: 2004-05, 2008-09
Baltic League: 2006, 2007, 2009
Lithuanian National League:1999-00, 2001-2, 2005-06, 2008-09, 2009-10
Lithuanian National Cup: 1998, 2009, 2010