Zalgiris pays tribute to Paulius Jankunas during emotional night in Zalgirio Arena 2
Monday night in Zalgirio Arena was a special one for Zalgiris Kaunas captain Paulius Jankunas. The forward, who has spent 18 years in Kaunas, played what could be his last game in the green-and-white jersey at home.
Zalgiris, now playing in the Betsafe-LKL series for the third place, beat Siauliai once again and are one win away from the end of the series.
The Zalgiris captain was treated to a special presentation before the game. When the players were called to the court, Paulius Jankunas was at the very front of the line-up. Before that, the eyes of all the spectators at Zalgirio Arena, including Jankunas himself were drawn to the video cube, which showed a video of his impressive career and a message from teammates, Arvydas Sabonis, and his sons, Matas and Adomas.
“A lot of emotions. It seemed I had put them to the side, but that video really brought them out. All my friends, acquaintances, kids. It was really touching. The fans, the family gathered, the fans came to the fourth period, the chants towards me were fun. Usually, you don’t hear what they are chanting, but this time I heard it and it was truly exciting. I was ready for that game, but somewhere there the emotions came through. Thank you to the fans who still came to the arena after such a season and showed their respect,” Jankunas said at the post-game press conference.
During Monday’s game, the Zalgirio Arena floor was also decorated with symbols dedicated to Jankunas, and his teammates played in shirts with the captain’s name on them.