Zalgiris sets preseason camp in Turkey 1
Zalgiris Kaunas have arrived in Antalya for the pre-season Gloria Cup tournament, where Martin Schiller’s squad will play three friendly matches.
The Lithuanian champions already had an evening practice, where the coaching staff started getting their team prepared for the first match against Lokomotiv Krasnodar that will take place on Wednesday evening.
Coach Schiller talked to Zalgiris TV during a team practice in Turkey and elaborated on the difficult travel circumstances.
“The trip was short, but timing-wise difficult because we left at 2:45 from Kaunas. But the flight was direct, so that’s why we did it. The guys got good rest here and came to practice. Very good practice in my eyes, very intense, very focused. Having said that, the trip was not in the way for good practice,” Schiller explained to Zalgiris TV.
The Austrian specialist also touched on the areas he wants his team to improve on the most.
“We want to improve all areas, to be honest. Especially defensively, foundation work is being laid and has to be laid. So it’s really about the process and what we’re doing on the floor. To me, the main thing is the defensive quality we want to bring”.
Zalgiris and Lokomotiv have already faced each other at the start of the pre-season. In the first match, Eric McCollum’s heroics helped the Russian team edge out Zalgiris 88-87.
Edgaras Ulanovas talked about why he thought the team lost their first two friendly matches against Lokomotiv and Lietkabelis while also emphasizing that team chemistry needs to be improved.
“Communication is an aspect of our game that we need to improve the most. I want to add that the result of our first two games does not fully reflect the true situation. We had just finished our physical workouts and played were little basketball. Our condition was far from the best, the legs were heavy, and so on. We are improving on our communication and chemistry, but we still need to feel each other out fully.”
The forward returned to Zalgiris after a year with Fenerbahce and joined Mantas Kalnietis, who came back to the club after a five-year absence. Ulanovas talked about the new Zalgiris squad and the great atmosphere in the locker room.
“Mantas Kalnietis and I are not new to this team. Meanwhile, other newcomers are nice guys and are ready to put in the work. We communicate well, there are no big egos. Everyone understands that we need to work to better the team and that only solid teamwork can lead us to the top of the standings.”
After their match against Lokomotiv, Zalgiris will also face Tofas Bursa and the EuroLeague champions, Anadolu Efes Istanbul.