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Thread: 3X3 in Lithuania

  1. #101
    Senior Member Hepcat's Avatar
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    Here are the team standings after the first two Stops of the ULE Tournament in St. Petersburg:

    Riga - 170
    Team NL - 150
    Tri Zvezdochki - 130
    Novi Sad - 125
    Team LT - 100
    Gagarin - 95
    COP Moscow - 88
    Inanomo - 85
    BC Samara - 51
    AS Monaco - 40
    Bielefeld - 34
    Skolkovo - 28

    Since the top eight teams after Stop 3 will advance to the Final Stop on April 26th, Team LT's presence in the Final is almost assured.

    Stop 3 of the ULE Tournament in St. Petersburg begins today/tomorrow April 14th. Team LT will face Novi Sad (at 14:30 Lithuanian time I think) and later in the day Skolkovo.

    It appears that Team LT will consist of the Šakių Gulbelė players - Paulius Beliavicius, Aurelijus Pukelis, Darius Tarvydas and Šarūnas Vingelis.


  2. #102
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hepcat View Post

    Since the top eight teams after Stop 3 will advance to the Final Stop on April 26th, Team LT's presence in the Final is almost assured.

    Stop 3 of the ULE Tournament in St. Petersburg begins today/tomorrow April 14th. Team LT will face Novi Sad (at 14:30 Lithuanian time I think) and later in the day Skolkovo.

    It appears that Team LT will consist of the Šakių Gulbelė players - Paulius Beliavicius, Aurelijus Pukelis, Darius Tarvydas and Šarūnas Vingelis.

    3x3 federation announced earlier that it will be: Aurelijus Pukelis, Ernestas Sederevičius, Modestas Kumpys bei Paulius Semaška. Again not a team I want to watch with only Pukelis as legitimate NT candidate for this Olympics qualifiers


  3. #103
    Senior Member Hepcat's Avatar
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    Novi Sad 16 Team LT 13
    Team LT 21 Skolkovo 12


    So Team LT advances to the quarterfinals.

    Some observations from a first look at the two games on Youtube:

    Team LT's only weapon in the first game was Aurelijus Pukelis inside. Pukelis was then an absolute wrecking crew in the second game with a couple of two pointers in addition to his inside play.

    The only two pointer I noticed team LT making in the first game was by Modestas Kumpys. Kumpys was also playing some energetic, high pressure defence today and looked pretty good.

    Paulius Semaška was completely inadequate in the sniper role for Team LT and missed a total of seven attempts from beyond the arc. He dished off some nice passes but overall he wasn't very effective today. Interesting that Semaška was wearing the #2 jersey with the name "Vaitkus" on the back.

    Nor did I notice Ernestas Sederevičius doing much. Sederevičius was wearing the #8 jersey with "Skučas" on the back.

    Last edited by Hepcat; 04-15-2021 at 04:17 PM.

  4. #104
    Senior Member Hepcat's Avatar
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    So Team LT will play Gagarin in a quarterfinal. Gagarin finished at 1-1 with the other two teams in its group after beating COP Moscow 20-19 but losing to Bielefeld 22-19. But Gagarin was awarded first place on the basis of points scored which I think is a ridiculous way to settle three way ties. Nonetheless, this implies that Gagarin isn't exactly playing like a powerhouse team so I'm cautiously optimistic about Team LT's chances.


  5. #105
    Senior Member Hepcat's Avatar
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    Team LT 19 Gagarin 16

    Team LT took control of the quarterfinal very early and built up an eleven point lead at one time. They then held on despite a late rally by Gagarin. Modestas Kumpys had some stellar moments in the game.

    Team NL 21 Team LT 11

    Team NL exploded out of the gate in the semi with shots from beyond the arc. Team LT had no answer as I think only Modestas Kumpys hit a shot from beyond the arc early in the game. Aurelijus Pukelis found it difficult to get open in the paint because Team NL could key on him since Team LT was not showing the capability to hit from beyond the arc. Team NL simply had complete control of the game to the end.

    Novi Sad beat Team NL 18-17 in the final.

    In summary, Aurelijus Pukelis demonstrated why he's a favourite to make the team that will represent Lithuania in the Olympic Qualifying Tournament. He was very good in the paint and made his share of free throws.

    Modestas Kumpys was also very impressive. He was fast, agile, had some great blocks on defence and made the occasional shot from beyond the arc.

    Paulius Semaška showed some very impressive cuts to the basket and dished off some highlight reel assists but he didn't hit even a single shot from beyond the arc. He was also at a height disadvantage on defence.

    Ernestas Sederevičius had an occasional moment but that's it.
    Last edited by Hepcat; 04-15-2021 at 05:10 PM.

  6. #106
    Senior Member Hepcat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hepcat View Post
    Interesting that Semaška was wearing the #2 jersey with the name "Vaitkus" on the back.

    Sederevičius was wearing the #8 jersey with "Skučas" on the back.
    It's the organizers of these 3x3 tournaments that provide the players with jerseys (probably so that these jerseys can be emblazoned with the names of sponsoring companies). Evidently each participating team received six black jerseys and six white jerseys. Four of each colour carried the names of the four players each team expected to bring to the first Stop and two more carried generic ULE3x3.COM lettering. Which is why youngsters Semaška and Sederevičius ended up wearing the 3x3 jerseys of two of the Utena players.

    Another interesting detail was that one of the announcers received a text informing him that Pukelis meant "little piece of fluff" in Lithuanian. He then gave Aurelijus Pukelis the nickname "Mr. Fluffy" and kept using it. I suspect that Pukelis' new nickname will catch on since I'm pretty confident the FIBA 3x3 announcers have been tuning in to these games.

    Last edited by Hepcat; 04-18-2021 at 04:39 PM.

  7. #107
    Senior Member Hepcat's Avatar
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    A few interesting tidbits came out of this interview with Darius Tarvydas of Jonavos CBet and the Šakių Gulbelė 3x3 team:

    Darius Tarvydas - Krepsinis.net Interview

    He says that there'd been no opportunity at all to work with his new Gulbelė teammates - Aurelijus Pukelis, Šarūnas Vingelis and Paulius Beliavičius - prior to the Doha Masters event in late March. The COVID-19 pandemic made any kind of pre-tournament practicing in Doha impossible as well. It was basically shake hands with his new teammates and step onto the court to play. That would explain why the Gulbelė team looked completely disjointed to me.

    He says he now plans to devote himself completely to the 3x3 game and hopefully be part of the Lithuanian national 3x3 team that qualifies for the Olympics. He says that this goal may have cost him financially because he elected to remain with Jonavos CBet instead of looking for opportunities elsewhere that would have required him to play deeper into the spring.

    He also didn't discount the possibility that at some future point in his career he might play only 3x3 basketball. He says that he'd like to play just 3x3 basketball but only with a good team that would be competitive in the big international tournaments to which he enjoys travelling.

    He also indicates that he'll be happy to continue playing for Jonavos CBet next year if Jonava truly gets a berth in the LKL since he has a contract with Jonava - if a better opportunity doesn't arise elsewhere. The loosey-goosey nature of many of these European contracts continues to amaze and trouble me.

    Last edited by Hepcat; 04-20-2021 at 04:21 PM.

  8. #108
    Senior Member Hepcat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hepcat View Post
    Aurelijus Pukelis demonstrated why he's a favourite to make the team that will represent Lithuania in the Olympic Qualifying Tournament. He was very good in the paint and made his share of free throws.
    Aurelijus Pukelis actually led all scorers in Stop 3 of the St. Petersburg tournament with 31 points.

    Here now are the team standings after Stop 3 of the ULE Tournament in St. Petersburg:

    Riga - 240
    Team NL - 230
    Novi Sad - 225
    Tri Zvezdochki - 175
    Team LT - 160
    Gagarin - 135
    Inanomo - 135
    COP Moscow - 106

    BC Samara - 71
    Bielefeld - 69
    AS Monaco - 56
    Skolkovo - 42

    The top eight teams now advance to the Final on April 26th.


  9. #109
    Senior Member Hepcat's Avatar
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    I still can't find any word on the composition of the Team LT that will compete in the Final Window of the St. Petersburg tournament on Monday.

    Interesting too that a team comprised of:

    Dainius Novickas
    Marijus Užupis
    Šarūnas Vingelis
    Paulius Beliavičius

    Won Stop 3 of the St. Petersburg tournament last February:

    United League Europe 3x3 Schedule Stop 3 2020

    Last edited by Hepcat; 04-23-2021 at 10:15 PM.

  10. #110
    Senior Member Hepcat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mindozas View Post
    USA should be represented by the team which won 2019 3x3 World Cup. At least they were announced as the ones going to qualies last year. This team looked much better than Harlem's one. It also consist of 5x5 pro Robbie Hummel who played in Europe, even Euroleague, he made major difference and was World Cup MVP.
    Canyon Barry FIBA 3x3

    The U.S. team at the May 26-30th Graz Qualifying Tournament will consist of Kareem Maddox (Princeton), "Disco Domo" Jones (NY Harlem), Robbie Hummel (Princeton) and Rick Barry's son Canyon Barry. The team has already had a training camp in Orlando and they'll gather for another one in Los Angeles on May 1st. The United States is therefore taking the Olympic 3x3 event very seriously.

    Last edited by Hepcat; 04-26-2021 at 04:20 AM.

  11. #111
    Senior Member Hepcat's Avatar
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    So evidently Stop 4 of the St. Petersburg 3x3 tournament will kick off right at the quarterfinal stage:

    Riga (1) vs. COP Moscow (8)
    Tri Zvezdochki (4) vs. Team LT (5)
    Team NL (2) vs. Inamono (7)
    Novi Sad (3) vs. Gagarin (6)

    Team LT will if victorious in the first game meet the winner of the game between Riga and COP Moscow in a semifinal.

    Last edited by Hepcat; 04-26-2021 at 04:19 AM.

  12. #112
    Senior Member Hepcat's Avatar
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    Team LT 21 Tri Zvezdochki 20

    Team LT once again consisted of Aurelijus Pukelis, Ernestas Sederevičius, Modestas Kumpys and Paulius Semaška. They looked nicely drilled and were doing a lot of things right. Pukelis was once again almost unstoppable in the paint. The others also had some very good moments.

    But!!! Team LT was once again playing without benefit of shots from behind the arc. Out of the four that he took, Kumpys made one but that was it. Semaška missed just one but it looked horrible. And Sederevičius was only one of three from the free throw line. Very annoying. The lack of shooting from distance could easily have cost them the game.

    Last edited by Hepcat; 04-28-2021 at 04:18 PM.

  13. #113
    Senior Member Hepcat's Avatar
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    So in the semifinal it was:

    Riga 21 Team LT 16

    Riga bombed Team LT from beyond the arc making about six including the game winner. Paulius Semaška did make a couple from beyond the arc but missed five times. Overall Team LT hit only 2/11 from two point range. They simply need better shooting from beyond the arc to beat the best teams.

    Last edited by Hepcat; 04-28-2021 at 04:22 PM.

  14. #114
    Senior Member Hepcat's Avatar
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    So the LKF submitted a preliminary roster to FIBA of the team that will compete for an Olympic spot at the Qualifying Tournament to be held in Graz from May 26-30th. The roster does not have to be finalized until May 18th. The preliminary roster consists of Aurelijus Pukelis, Darius Tarvydas, Modestas Kumpys and Paulius Semaška. Here are my thoughts on the players:

    Aurelijus Pukelis: At #13 Pukelis is the highest ranked Lithuanian in FIBA's 3x3 player rankings. He was also the MVP of the NKL in 2020-21. He was almost unstoppable down low in the St. Petersburg Tournament. I'll be very surprised if he's absent from the final team.

    Darius Tarvydas: Tarvydas was the MVP of the Hoptrans Tournament in Palanga last July. He was voted Lithuania's 3x3 player of the year for 2020. He's represented Lithuania in 3x3 competitions on more than one occasion. He was also the leader of the Jonavos CBet team that tore through the NKL this past season. I'll be very surprised if he's absent from the final team.

    Modestas Kumpys: A newcomer on the 3x3 scene, he so impressed the coaching staff with his play and the effort he showed at training camp that he participated in the last three Stops of the St. Petersburg Tournament. A high energy presence on the court, he could provide much of what Žygimantas Skučas brings but without Skučas' "What were you thinking?" moments.

    Paulius Semaška: Semaška plays PG for Šakių Vytis. As such he dishes off great passes to players cutting toward the rim, slashes very nicely toward the basket himself when he catches an opponent leaning the wrong way and has an excellent finishing touch beneath the basket. At only 185 cm. he's often at a height disadvantage on defence but uses quickness and pressure to make up for this disadvantage. He has everything you'd want in a PG - but a good outside shot. Here are some comparative three point shot stats for the 2020-21 season of the Vytis players at the 3x3 camp:

    Paulius Semaška - 39/146 (26.7%)
    Aurelijus Pukelis - 42/79 (53.2%)
    Šarūnas Vingelis - 66/133 (49.6%)
    Paulius Beliavičius - 65/189 (34.4%)
    Marijus Užupis - 18/32 (56.3%) and 48/123 (39.0%) in 2019-20

    Semaška also has an unconventional chin level release point for his jump points. While this enables a quick release, it also makes his shots look hurried and ill-considered when he misses. And some of the shots he took from beyond the arc in the St. Petersburg Tournament certainly looked that way.

    It's the same picture from the free throw line as Semaška hit only 35/58 (60.3%) of his attempts this past season while the success rate of his teammates listed above ranged from 70.5% for Užupis (in 2019-20) to 96.2% for Vingelis.

    With Užupis not yet 100% recovered from his knee surgery in early December and Ignas Vaitkus still busy playing for Juventus, Šarūnas Vingelis could end up on the team in place of Semaška. Rolandas Skaisgirys of the Lithuanian 3x3 Basketball Association noted that shooting from beyond the arc was a weakness on which the team needed to work.

    Ernestas Sederevičius: While not on the preliminary roster, Sederevičius showed the coaches enough to get to play in the last three Stops of the St. Petersburg tournament. Though much younger than the other players in camp, 22 year old Sederevičius has now gained considerable experience against high quality opponents and has a leg up on making future Team LTs. Moreover his appearances in the St. Petersburg Stops have undoubtedly advanced his career prospects. While hardly a household name in Lithuania previously, I'm sure every coach and general manager in Lithuania has noted that he impressed coaches Dainius Novickas and Žydrūnas Urbonas enough to be included on those teams.

    Juventus players Ignas Vaitkus, Žygimantas Skučas, Vytautas Šulskis, Gintautas Matulis and Aurimas Urbonas have not practiced or scrimmaged with the other 3x3 team candidates since April 14th. The LKL regular season isn't scheduled to end until May 10th so the playoffs in which Juventus will take part can't begin until after that date. I therefore don't see how it's going to be possible to integrate any of the Juventus players into the team prior to the May 18th cutoff date.

    But the remaining players have been gathered at a full fledged training camp in Kaunas with proper facilities and training staff since April 19th or so. I believe that the camp consists of these players:

    Darius Tarvydas - Jonavos CBet
    Aurelijus Pukelis - Šakių Vytis
    Paulius Beliavičius - Šakių Vytis
    Šarūnas Vingelis - Šakių Vytis
    Marijus Užupis - Šakių Vytis
    Paulius Semaška - Šakių Vytis
    Žygimantas Šimonis - Marijampolės Sūduva-Mantinga
    Šarūnas Beniušis - Marijampolės Sūduva-Mantinga
    Modestas Kumpys - Gargždų Gargždai
    Ernestas Sederevičius - Šilutė

    To this point they've worked mainly on conditioning with the aid of Olympic boxer Daugirdas Šemiotas. Coach Novickas says that there's been not a word of complaint and the candidates have devoted themselves so enthusiastically to their training regimen that they've often drawn him into participating as well! Aurelijus Pukelis commented that "We all know why we're here. We can rest after we get old."

    Beginning Monday, the focus will shift more to tactical basketball preparation.

    The training camp candidates will also be participating on various teams in the Lithuanian 3x3 basketball championship in Garliava which for the Pros will commence on Sunday May 2nd and continue for five more Sundays ending on June 6th. The best teams will then compete in a final to take place on June 20th. Aurelijus Pukelis, Šarūnas Vingelis, Darius Tarvydas, Karolis Kokoška, Paulius Beliavičius and Marijus Užupis will be on the Šakių Gulbelė team although Užupis isn't likely to play yet and Beliavičius is also nursing some sort of injury. Paulius Semaška, Šarūnas Beniušis, Žygimantas Šimonis and Modestas Kumpys will play for the Kauno Tauras team. I'll be surprised if these two teams don't meet in the championship game.

    Last edited by Hepcat; 05-19-2021 at 05:41 AM.

  15. #115
    Senior Member Hepcat's Avatar
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    While it now appears that none of the Juventus players will be on the team that will compete for an Olympic berth in Graz, it's last July's Hoptrans tournament and the Utena team that Lithuanian basketball fans must thank for spurring the development and increased competitiveness of 3x3 basketball in Lithuania. Without the participation of Utena in the Hoptrans tournament last July, organizers might now still be hoping that Marijus Užupis might be fully ready to play in the Graz tournament with his Šakių Gulbelė teammates Aurelijus Pukelis, Šarūnas Vingelis and Paulius Beliavičius. And with Beliavičius hurting as well, the situation might have looked very bleak for Team LT right now. But Utena's participation brought Darius Tarvydas back into the 3x3 game. And a number of other potential future 3x3 talents participated in the Hoptrans Tournament with four or five of these talents including Modestas Kumpys now at the Kaunas training camp.

    And of course the Juventus players will still be eligible and available to compete in the Olympics if needed.

    Last edited by Hepcat; 04-29-2021 at 04:37 PM.

  16. #116
    Senior Member Hepcat's Avatar
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    The Lithuanian 3x3 basketball championships will have a Pro category with cash prizes for the first time this year. The Tournament will be held on six consecutive weekends in Garliava beginning on Saturday May 1st and ending on Sunday June 6th. The Elite category of teams will compete on Saturdays and the Pros on Sundays. The best teams in the two categories will then compete in a final to take place on the weekend of June 19-20th in the new 1500 seating capacity portable Hoptrans outdoor arena. The Pro category will include the following teams:

    Šakių Gulbelė: Aurelijus Pukelis, Šarūnas Vingelis, Darius Tarvydas, Karolis Kokoška, Paulius Beliavičius and Marijus Užupis

    Kauno Tauras: Paulius Semaška, Modestas Kumpys, Šarūnas Beniušis and Žygimantas Šimonis

    Vytauto Didžiojo University: Ernestas Sederevičius, Rokas Stankevičius, Tomas Zdanavičius and Ignas Labutis

    Klaipėdos Neptūnas: Gabrielius Mažeika, Lukas Kreišmontas, Matas Vaitkus and Gediminas Leščiauskas

    Kėdainių Nevėžis-Optibet: Povilas Dambrauskas, Medas Kuprijanovas, Laurynas Danielius and Arminas Kelmelis

    Marijampolės Sūduva-Mantinga: Evaldas Džiaugys, Marius Valukonis, Justas Nausėda, Jonas Zakas, Mintautas Bulanovas and Tautvydas Kliučinykas

    Telšiai: Ignas Razutis, Deividas Rasys, Rokas Paulauskas, Mantas Kazonas and Mindaugas Motuzas

    Trakų GEALAN: Kostas Jonuška, Domantas Bimba, Evaldas Rastenis, Rytis Petrulis, Ignas Bilinskas and Gytis Sušinskas

    U-21: Gabrielius Čelka, Henrikas Alekna, Gytis Nemeikša, Aristidas Končius and Dominykas Stenionis

    U-23 VDU: Julius Liesis, Armandas Urkis, Vitalijus Kozys and Justinas Ramanauskas

    I'm actually surprised that only three NKL clubs are fielding teams since the NKL season has been over for four weeks.

    I'm also troubled by the appearance of two Vytauto Didžiojo University teams in the Pro category. Perhaps they just have to pass on the cash prizes to maintain their amateur status.

    The champion of the Pro category will also earn an automatic berth to a FIBA Masters event such as the ones that took place in Debrecen (Hungary), Jeddah and Doha in the past year. Rolandas Skaisgirys, founder of the Lithuanian 3x3 Basketball Federation, says that the 3x3 championship has been opened to the Pros to encourage development of other teams of the same quality as Šakių Gulbelė and Utena and in so doing make Lithuania the top 3x3 basketball country in the world.

    Last edited by Hepcat; 04-30-2021 at 03:27 PM.

  17. #117
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    The Elite category will be open to foreign teams as well. These will include the preliminary national teams from Germany and Belgium as well as some sort of team(s) from Latvia. The best two teams from the Elite competition each Saturday will join the Pro competition on Sunday. The champion of the Elite category will get a ticket to compete in at least one FIBA Challengers event from which the best teams graduate to a FIBA World Tour Masters event.

    A concurrent competition will be held for women as well.


  18. #118
    Senior Member Hepcat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hepcat View Post
    Riga bombed Team LT from beyond the arc making about six including the game winner.... Overall Team LT hit only 2/11 from two point range. They simply need better shooting from beyond the arc to beat the best teams.
    Quote Originally Posted by Hepcat View Post
    Rolandas Skaisgirys of the Lithuanian 3x3 Basketball Association noted that shooting from beyond the arc was a weakness on which the team needed to work.
    Interesting that Darius Tarvydas won the Shoot-Out competition beating Canadian record holder Steve Sir at the Doha Masters in late March:



    Last edited by Hepcat; 06-05-2021 at 03:17 PM.

  19. #119
    Senior Member Hepcat's Avatar
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    Truly exasperating. I still can't find a single word on what transpired at the Lithuanian 3x3 Championship on the LKF website, Basketnews.lt or Krepsinis.net. Not even a single score. Incredibly bad.



    Ahhhh, I see Šakių Gulbelė won it. Here are some results:

    Lithuanian 3x3 Championship Standings

    Google didn't like it when I mixed a date of 1 May 2021 in with either English or Lithuanian search terms for the Lithuanian 3x3 championship. When I removed the date I finally got some results.

    Last edited by Hepcat; 05-09-2021 at 03:18 PM.

  20. #120
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    With a roster of Aurelijus Pukelis, Šarūnas Vingelis, Darius Tarvydas and Paulius Beliavičius, Šakių Gulbelė basically breezed through the tournament thumping Kauno Tauras 21-10 in the semifinal and Nevėžis 21-13 in the final. The Gulbelė victories were particularly impressive given that Tarvydas pulled a leg muscle during the QF and decided to withdraw from further play. Hopefully his injury is no more serious than it sounds.

    Pro Championship Scores - Stop 1



    For whatever reason Žygimantas Šimonis wasn't on the Kauno Tauras team. A 22 year old 197 cm. 90 kg. Herkus Kumpys who plays SF for Šilutė was his replacement. Herkus actually won the shoot-out competition with twelve points.

    Last edited by Hepcat; 05-09-2021 at 03:18 PM.

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