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On June 18, Kaunas Žalgiris players celebrated the 20th championship in club history and also their 8th championship of the LKL (Lithuania’s Basketball League) in a row. They won the series in the 5th game, which took place at Žalgiris arena in Kaunas, beating their opponent Lietuvos Rytas.
Domantas Sabonis
Domantas Sabonis
© DELFI / Kiril Čachovskij

Dalia Belickaitė, the host of #TimeOutŽalgiris, was behind the scenes in the arena during and after the match. In the ensuing frenzy after the big win, she got up close and personal with quite a few fans. She also spoke with many fans late in the game, when Žalgiris was pulling away with the victory. She started by asking people then which Žalgiris player they would like to celebrate LKL's Championship title with? The most popular answers were: Kevin Pangos, Paulius Jankūnas, Antanas Kavaliauskas and Šarūnas Jasikevičius.

While doing her fan interviews during the game, D. Belickaitė also ran into the two Lithuanians, Jonas Valančiūnas and Domantas Sabonis, who have made it to the strongest basketball league on the planet, the NBA. Domas explained why he was in the arena wearing a Žalgiris' jersey with 'Pangos' written on the back of it . He explained, "Kevin Pangos is like a brother to me, we played together at Gonzaga University for years. I've been watching all the Žalgiris games on 'http://EuroLeague.tv 'and it's been a very good season ...and if they win tonight, it will be a perfect season!"

Domantas' dad, Arvydas Sabonis, was also a Žalgiris player. His basketball career started and ended there. D. Belickaitė kept questioning Domas further, "Do you have any interest in following in your father's footsteps and possibly playing for the BC Žalgiris one day, even for just one season maybe?" Domas said: "It would be a lot of fun to finish my career in Kaunas, but everything depends on what happens in the future... sure I would like to play for Žalgiris (someday)."

Jonas Valančiūnas, who was at the LKL finals last year sporting a Robertas Javtokas jersey, was back in the arena this year watching the finals game. He had this to say, "Sometimes it's just fun to be a spectator at basketball games, without all the emotion, sweat and stress (of playing)."

"I know they have a great collection of guys this year on the BC Žalgiris, they also have a very capable coach. There were some great moments this season, making it a lot of fun to watch. I was watching their games even while I was in Toronto!"

Jonas was then asked in jest whether Artūras Milaknis, who has got seven LKL championship rings, is better than Michael Jordan who only has 6 championships. "Of course Milaknis is better than Jordan, what kind of question is that? I've never even heard of Michael Jordan." he replied jokingly.

Translated by Neal Maloney

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