Sun City reloaded: welcome Šiauliai!
Graphic: Mārtiņš Zaļūksnis
Basketball club Šiauliai returns for the third season in the European North Basketball league.
Sun City`s team advanced to the 2022 Final Four and earned a silver medal.
Antanas Sireika`s team made it to the King Mindaugas Cup Final Four and the LKL semifinals.
Men in yellow and black finished the regular season with a 15-15 record and knocked off a higher seeded Jonava in the quarterfinal series 3-1.
Šiauliai lost to the eventual champion Rytas Vilnius in a 1-3 semifinal series, while Lietkabelis Panevežys shocked perennial favorite Žalgiris Kaunas in four games.
Last season was less successful as Šiauliai didn`t made it to the LKL playoffs, finishing in the ninth place with a 13-20 record.
Šiauliai dropped to the 11th place in the ENBL rankings.
The winds of change were blowing.
On May 26, 2023, the club parted ways with legendary head coach Antanas Sireika.
“Nothing is eternal and nothing is impossible,” Sireika left his post after a 45 years work in basketball, including 35 (!) years in Šiauliai.
A 2003 EuroBasket champion is the honorary president and consultant of a club now.
Sireika coached the team for 19 seasons (1994-2002, 2009-2012, 2017-2023).
During his long career, the coach led the Šiauliai basketball team to many victories.
In 1996, Antanas Sireika won the Lithuanian Cup, laying the foundations for the upcoming victories.
In 2000, he led Šiauliai to the third place in the Lithuanian Basketball league for the first time in history.
He added three more bronze medals in the LKL.
Sireika has been succeeded by Nikolajs Mazurs.
A Latvian coach returns for his third season in the ENBL.
Mazurs led the Tartu University to the 2022 Final Four.
Last season Tartu conquered the third place in the Pafbet Estonia-Latvia league and won the silver medal in the Estonian championship.
Team also won the Estonian Cup a year before.
Mazurs has signed a 2+1 contract with Šiauliai.