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2013.12.19 11:45

Lithuanian Basketball Federation named its best for 2013

DELFI|The Lithuania Tribune2013.12.19 11:45

The LKF (Lithuanian Basketball Federation), in alliance with Lithuania’s online news portal DELFI, has named Mantas Kalnietis and Lina Pikčiūtė as its two players of the year for 2013 after public voting came to a close this week.

 The LKF (Lithuanian Basketball Federation), in alliance with Lithuania’s online news portal DELFI, has named Mantas Kalnietis and Lina Pikčiūtė as its two players of the year for 2013 after public voting came to a close this week.

Kalnietis recorded a whopping 50.9 per cent of the vote following a successful stint with Russian club PBC Lokomotiv-Kuban alongside fellow Lithuanian Simas Jasaitis this year.

However, it would be in the 2013 EuroBasket throughout September where the 27-year-old would win over his nation; averaging 5.0 assists per game (tournament leader) while also guiding his nation into its first continental final in ten years.

The 21-year-old Jonas Valančiūnas was denied a third successive men’s title – despite his ongoing rise to NBA All-star fame (the Toronto Raptor would only receive 12.3 per cent of the vote), while Linas Kleiza, a fellow dual recipient of the award, rounded off the top three (7.1 per cent).

The reward came as a shock to Kalnietis who had publicly predicted Jonas Mačiulis to take out the annual honours. Mačiulis did not have as much of an impact with the Lithuanian public, however, as the last year’s runner up Renaldas Seibutis (6.3 per cent) and Donatas Motiejūnas (5.5 per cent) sealed the top five.
While there would be a massive margin between Kalnietis and Valančiūnas, Pikčiūtė (16.2 per cent) only narrowly took out the female honours against 2011 winner Rima Valentienė (15.2 per cent) receiving back-to-back runner up titles.

The past twelve months have shown improvement from the 23-year-old Pikčiūtė, a fundamental member of the Vilnius Kibirkšties-VIČI side.

Arguably the favourite for the award following a dominating 2013 EuroBasket campaign, Gintarė Petronytė would also fall short of the ultimate; finishing with 15 per cent, while Aušra Bimbaitė (10 per cent) and Rasa Žemantauskaitė-Matlašaitienė (6.2 per cent) rounded off the women’s top five.

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