Aiming for another playoff run: welcome KB Prishtina!
Graphic: Mārtiņš Zaļūksnis
KB Prishtina will return for the second season in the European North Basketball league.
Kosovo club had a good debut season.
KB Prishtina finished fourth in the Group A and advanced to the playoffs.
The first game against King Wilki Szczecin – a 2023 Polish champion – ended in a tie, 64-64.
Both Gach scored the most important field goal for the home team with 19.1 seconds to go.
Utah standout a year ago played for Orlando Magic at the NBA Summer league.
Mateusz Kostrzewski tied the game at 64.
KB Prishtina dropped the road game in Szczecin, 78-85, and lost the quarterfinal series, 142-149.
Murat Bilge`s team won the Kosovo Superleague regular season but suffered a 2-3 defeat in the best-of-five semifinal series against Trepca.
A new chance awaits.
The club was founded in 1970 and has a strong fanbase.
Prishtina main sports hall “The palace of youth and sports” has a capacity of 3000.
It`s often packed to the limit, especially in major Kosovo SuperLeague games and especially international matches.
KB Prishtina have won 13 Kosovo championships.
They entered the international stage in 2013 when they joined the Balkan International Basketball league.
It was a success as Prishtina won two BIBL titles in 2015 and 2016.
KB Prishtina became the first Kosovo club to play in a European club competition when they joined the FIBA Europe Cup in 2015.
The Kosovo team reached the Round of 16 of the FIBA Europe Cup in the 2018-2019 season.
Prishtina posted four wins over Cherkaski Mavpy and Steaua CSM to finish second in Group E and move to the next round.
The Kosovo team then added two home wins over Pinar Karsiyaka and Szolnoki Olaj for a third place in Group I and ticket to the Round of 16.
Žydrūnas Urbonas took the coaching reins of KB Prishtina in summer of 2023.
A 47 years old coach won a gold medal with Lithuania at the 1994 FIBA U18 European Championship in Israel.
It was the first title for the Lithuania national team since EuroBasket 1939.
Urbonas professional career included numerous stops in Lithuania, as well as Russia, Greece, Latvia, Cyprus and Ukraine.
In 2009, Urbonas became a player-coach and the team's president when he joined Juventus Utena, and then became the assistant coach when he retired in 2012.
He served as head coach under Rytis Vaišvyla, Vitoldas Masalskis, Virginijus Sirvydis and Antanas Sireika, who coached and mentored him back during his playing days in BC Šiauliai.
Urbonas jersey #8 has been retired by Juventus Utena.