BC Pieno žvaigždės
BC Pieno žvaigždės (Lithuanian: Krepšinio klubas Pieno žvaigždės) is a professional basketball club from Pasvalys, Lithuania which currently plays in the LKL league. The club name comes from the main sponsor Pieno žvaigždės.
|Pieno žvaigždės Pasvalys|
|Leagues||Lithuanian Basketball League|
|Arena||Pieno žvaigždės Arena|
|Team colors||Navy, Yellow, White|
|Head coach||Mantas Šernius|
In 2003, the club debuted in the LKAL league and took fourth place (regular season: 19–15). The 2003–2004 LKAL season was more successful for Pieno žvaigždės as they won the regular season (regular season: 39–13). During the 2006–2007 season, Pieno žvaigždės played in the new second Lithuania basketball league, NKL, and took fifth place (regular season: 22-22). In their second NKL season, BC Pieno žvaigždės took only eight place (regular season: 17–15). The 2008–2009 season was more successful and Pieno žvaigždės took sixth place (regular season: 23–13). The 2009–2010 NKL season was one of the most successful in the club history as BC Pieno žvaigždės took third place in NKL (regular season: 21–9).
However this was not the end, as BC Pieno žvaigždės ended their 2010–2011 NKL regular season with 41:1 win/lose ratio (lost to Meresta Pakruojis by 1 point). On 16/17 April 2011, BC Pieno žvaigždės participated in NKL final four and became NKL champions. Also they got their chance to enter Lithuania super basketball league LKL, because of that, Pieno žvaigždės played three transition matches against Naglis (loser goes to NKL and the winner is automatically transferred to Lithuania super basketball league LKL). On 26 April 2011, Pieno žvaigždės lost their first transition match against Naglis in Palanga. On 29 April 2011 however, Pieno žvaigždės won the second game of the transition series in Pasvalys. The perfect BC "Pieno žvaigždės" season finished very unsuccessfully as they lost the third transition series game against Naglis by only one point with result 68:69. Because of that, Pieno žvaigždės had to stay in NKL.
On 14 July 2011, Pieno žvaigždės merged with LKL participant Perlas, so they participated in premier Lithuania basketball league LKL. The main team coach was former Perlas coach Roberts Štelmahers. Pieno Žvaigždės debuted in the LKL league on 7 October 2011 against Techasas, they won the match with result 84:56.
In 2011–2012 season Pieno žvaigždės participated in LKF Cup tournament. They eliminated Šiauliai in last round of playoffs and advanced to final four, which took place in Kaunas. The semi-final was against Rūdupis, which, after very tight game Pieno žvaigždės won with result 68:67.
However, the team was no match for Žalgiris Kaunas, losing 62:99. Over the next two seasons, the team played solidly in both the LKL and BBL competitions, reaching the quarterfinals each time, also reaching the LKF Cup finals in 2013, though losing to BC Prienai.
In the 2014–15 LKL season, Pieno žvaigždės were just one step away from defeating Juventus in the quarter-finals, losing the fifth series game by 8 points. Juventus later played in the LKL bronze final and surprisingly defeated Euroleague participant BC Neptūnas there.
On July 29, 2015, the club was invited to join the 2015–16 FIBA Europe Cup tournament, which is the alternative version of the 2nd tier European tournament ULEB Eurocup, organized by FIBA. University of Florida standout Dennis Mavin and Khimik star Ramone Moore strengthened the team roster in the summer of 2015. The team advanced into the second stage of the FIBA Europe Cup by clinching the second place in the group and surprisingly leaving the last season's Polish champions and Euroleague participants Turów Zgorzelec shocked. They were eliminated in the second stage, with KK Cibona and Energia Târgu Jiu advancing. BC Pieno žvaigždės once again reached the quarterfinal stage in the LKL, but lost to BC Žalgiris.
In the 2016–2017 season, Pieno žvaigždės reached the Baltic Basketball League finals for the first time in club history, after being the best team in regular season. They defeated BK Ogre/Kumho Tyres in the first round of the playoffs, Liepāja Triobet in the quarterfinals, and BC Tartu in the semifinals, before losing to BC Vytautas in the finals. In the LKL, Pieno žvaigždės once again lost in the quarterfinals, this time to BC Lietuvos rytas. The leaders and stars of the team during the 2016 and 2017 seasons were Derrick Low and Steponas Babrauskas.
In the 2017–2018 season, Rimantas Grigas, who coached the team in the 2013–2014 season, returned as coach. Pieno žvaigždės resigned Steponas Babrauskas and signed Vyacheslav Bobrov, who quickly became the team leader. While Pieno žvaigždės remained undefeated in the BBL and had a solid 5–7 record (5th place) in the LKL, coach Grigas was shockingly replaced as head coach by Gediminas Petrauskas. Along with Petrauskas, Pieno žvaigždės signed former club players Osvaldas Olisevičius and Trévon Hughes to return to the team, and also signed solid players like center Lis Shoshi and guard Jahenns Manigat to help the team. In the BBL, Pieno žvaigždės dominated, losing only one game in the regular season and finishing with an 11–1 record. Rival and BBL champion BC Vytautas shockingly left the competition during the season. In the BBL playoffs, Pieno žvaigždės beat KK Pärnu in the quarterfinals 174:150 (96:66 and 78:84) on aggregate in the quarterfinals, and BC Šiauliai 159:148 (91:84 and 68:64) on aggergrate in the semifinals. In the finals, facing BK Jūrmala, Pieno žvaigždės was the heavy favorite, and proved it by winning in dominating fashion, 174:148 (98:80 and 76:68) on aggregate, winning the BBL championship. Manigat was the finals MVP. Pieno žvaigždės recovered in the LKL, and by the end of the regular season, finished in 6th place. They faced BC Neptūnas, one of the top teams in Lithuania for the past years, and gave a good fight, losing the series 1:3.
Petrauskas remained as head coach for the 2018–2019 season. For the first half of the season, Pieno žvaigždės played a largely unspectacular basketball, led by Emmanuel Omogbo. By December, changes were made. Many players were released, with Yannick Franke, Jay Threatt and the returning Žygimantas Skučas being signed to improve the team. Omogbo was released. Pieno žvaigždės went on an amazing run during December–March, winning 12 of the next 15 games in the LKL, and climbing up to 4th place in the standings, with a 16–11 record. However, the good news ended there - Pieno žvaigzdės lost the next 9 games in a row, falling to 5th place and ending the regular season with a 16–20 record. In the playoffs, Pieno žvaigždės were eliminated by cross-town rival BC Lietkabelis, swept in two games.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2019–2020 season ended early. Pieno žvaigždės finished in 7th place in the LKL. The team was led by John Gillon, Miha Lapornik and Paulius Petrilevičius. In the King Mindaugas Cup, for the third season in a row, Pieno žvaigždės were eliminated by BC Lietkabelis.
Note: Flags indicate national team eligibility at FIBA sanctioned events. Players may hold other non-FIBA nationality not displayed.
|BC Pieno žvaigždės roster|
Updated: September 30, 2021
|C||Paulius Petrilevičius||Devin Thomas|
|PF||Žygimantas Skučas||Karolis Guščikas|
|SF||Vladimir Konev||Simas Jarumbauskas|
|SG||Arnas Beručka||Kristaps Gluditis|
|PG||Markell Johnson||Paulius Danisevičius|
Squad changes for/during 2021–22 seasonEdit
|HC||Mantas Šernius||Cbet Prienai|
|F||Vladimir Konev||Cherkaski Mavpy|
|G||Kristaps Gluditis||Rakvere Tarvas|
|PF||Žygimantas Skučas||Juventus Utena|
|SG||Arnas Beručka||Inter Bratislava|
- HC - head coach
|5||F||Tomas Lekūnas||Juventus Utena|
|11||SG||Yannick Franke||Trefl Sopot|
|20||PF/C||Edgaras Želionis||Neptūnas Klaipėda|
|44||C||Daniel Amigo||Soles de Mexicali|
- HC - Head coach
Season by seasonEdit
- 2003–2004 season: 4th LKAL (reg. season: 19–15)
- 2004–2005 season: 5th (reg. season winner: 39–13)
- 2005–2006 season: 8th NKL (reg. season: 22-22)
- 2006–2007 season: 5th NKL (reg. season: 22-22)
- 2007–2008 season: 8th NKL (reg. season: 17–15)
- 2008–2009 season: 6th NKL (reg. season: 23–13)
- 2009–2010 season: 3rd NKL (reg. season: 21–9)
- 2010–2011 season: 1st NKL (reg. season: 41–1, lost promotion playoffs)
|Season||Tier||League||Pos.||Baltic League||LKF Cup|