Fresh off its best Turkish Airlines Euroleague season in many years, Zalgiris Kaunas hopes to keep its momentum going and to keep making its legion of fans proud and turning every game at Zalgirio Arena into a big basketball celebration. Zalgiris successfully defended its Lithuanian League crown and won its VTB League and Euroleague regular season groups, collecting prestigious road wins against Olympiacos Piraeus, CSKA Moscow, Anadolu Efes Istanbul, Laboral Kutxa Vitoria and Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar, among others. Zalgiris did not advance past the Euroleague Top 16 despite a respectable 6-8 record, but did reach the VTB League semifinals. The Lavrinovic twins, Darjus and Ksistof, Marko Popovic, Mindaugas Kuzminskas and Coach Joan Plaza led Zalgiris to a great season which the club hopes to match – or improve on – in 2013-14. Founded in 1944 by the best basketball players in Kaunas, Zalgiris needed just three years to win its first Soviet title. It became Soviet champion four other times – in 1951 and from 1985 to 1987, the latter period going down as the team’s first golden age. With legends Arvydas Sabonis, Sergejus Jovaisa, Rimas Kurtinaitis and Valdemaras Homicius taking charge, Zalgiris reached the Saporta Cup final in 1984, but lost to Barcelona. Zalgiris did even better in 1986 when it advanced to the Euroleague title game only to lose the crown to Cibona and Drazen Petrovic. Following independence for Lithuania in 1990, Zalgiris won the first nine Lithuanian League championships, thus creating a dynasty. In 1998, the team lifted its first-ever European trophy, the Saporta Cup, by downing Adecco Milano 82-67 in the title game behind 35 points from Saulius Stombergas. A year later, Zalgiris shocked the continent by winning the 1999 Euroleague title. Moreover, it did it so with a fun-to-watch offensive style that influenced the sport heading into the new century. A cast of stars including Tyus Edney, Stombergas, Anthony Bowie, Eurelijus Zukauskas, Jiri Zidek and Coach Jonas Kazlauskas helped Zalgiris show that up-tempo basketball could also win titles. Zalgiris came within a shot of the Euroleague Final Four in 2004 before eventual champion Maccabi Tel Aviv won their do-or-die Top 16 finale in overtime in epic fashion. Zalgiris continued to win Lithuanian League titles from 2003 to 2005, the year in which the club also became the first to win the Baltic League, too. With Sabonis backing the team as president, Zalgiris's success extended to its junior team, which won the 2007 Nike International Junior Tournament at the Final Four in Athens. Zalgiris lifted three trophies – the Baltic League, Lithuanian League and Lithuanian Cup – in 2008. For the 2010-11 campaign, a roster complete with a strong core of local players bolstered by experienced stars took the club to memorable wins in the Euroleague and a perfect regular season in the Lithuanian League. The next season, Zalgiris repeated the triple crown. With such a rich history and an outstanding fan base at the magnificent Zalgirio Arena, Zalgiris is always a threat.
Saporta Cup: 1998
Baltic League: 2005, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012
Lithuanian National League: 1949-50, 1951-52, 1952-53, 1953-54, 1954-55, 1956-57, 1957-58, 1989-90, 1990-91, 1991-92, 1992-93, 1993-94, 1994-95, 1995-96, 1996-97, 1997-98, 1998-99, 2000-01, 2002-03, 2003-04, 2004-05, 2006-07, 2007-08, 2010-11, 2011-12, 2012-13
Lithuanian Federation Cup: 2007, 2008, 2011, 2012
Lithuanian Supercup: 2012
Soviet Union National League: 1946-47, 1950-51, 1984-85, 1985-86, 1986-87
Intercontinental Cup: 1986