Lietuvos Telekomas tip off their 2005 EuroLeague Women ambitions on Wednesday evening with a visit from reigning champions Valenciennes.
The game is a repeat version of the opening day of last year's competition, in which the Lithuanian champions sprang a surprise 77-73 victory over their Frenchvisitors. Despite the loss, Valenciennes went on to win the title while Lietuvos Telekomas missed out on a play-off spot, finishing 7th in Group B.
This year, fans in Vilnius are eagerly awaiting the contest and hoping that their side can begin as well as they did in 2003.
Compared to last season, of course, there have been some personnel changes. Valenciennes are without inside players Ann Wauters (Samara), Suzy Batkovic (Valencia) and point guard Edwige Lawson (Samara).
The home side, on the other hand, have maintained their core squad while adding Americans Katie Douglas and Jen Derevjanik, both of whom were WNBA runners-up with the Conneticut Sun.
They can also count on 8 Lithuanian national team players who stunned France during their 2005 European Championship qualifiers, and finished in first place in the group.
Lietuvos Telekomas presented their team to the media and fans on Friday and just a few days later, they will face one of their season's sternest tests.
Lietuovs Telekomas v. Valenciennes tips of at 18:45 (local time) on Wednesday in Vilnius.