Lithuanian outfit TEO Vilnius will have a new face walking the sidelines when the EuroLeague Women resumes this week after the Christmas break.
Rutenis Paulauskas, the coach of Lithuania’s Under-18 young men’s team, has replaced Algirdas Paulauskas.
TEO parted with Algirdas Paulauskas (he also coached Lithuania’s women this summer at the EuroBasket in Italy) before Christmas with the team just 2-5 in the EuroLeague.
Yelena Leuchanka, the team’s star from Belarus who was a vital part of that team’s bronze-medal success at the EuroBasket last October, is hopeful of a change will be good for the team.
But she also had warm words for the outgoing coach.
“The coach was a bit unlucky to have some of the Lithuanian players banged up from the EuroBasket Women,” she said to FIBA Europe.
“We have to compete with other teams that are really deep with eight or nine players. And being young and having the Lithuanians injured didn't help.
“In the EuroLeague, it's really tough to win with only six or seven players.”
At least Algirdas Paulauskas walked away on a winning note. In his last game in charge, TEO completed a 106-55 thrashing of Aistes-Atletas.
The new Paulauskas in charge, Rutenis, knows his biggest challenge is the EuroLeague for TEO have so far been very strong in their domestic LKML, winning 13 of their first 14 games.