The North, drawing a comparison between Žydrūnė Urbonė and Pozzecco, expressed their sentiments, describing her as “very expansive.” The metamorphosis within the “Šiauliai” team serves as a compelling illustration of how alterations in the coaching staff can wield a profound influence on the team’s overall performance.
In the midst of December, the club made the strategic decision to part ways with Nikolajus Mazuras, ushering in the era of Žydrūnė Urbonė. With the implementation of tactical adjustments, Urbonė steered “Šiauliai” to a triumphant victory over “M Basket-Delamode” of Mažeikiai. Simultaneously, the North commenced the Citadele KMT quarter-finals with an 80:77 triumph against Jonava CBet. Despite the potential for a more substantial lead, the North allowed it to slip away in the concluding moments of the match.
The positive momentum radiated into the Northern Europa League (ENBL), where they asserted their dominance over Valmiera Glass’s squad.
Eimanta Stankevičius remarked, “Significantly, it’s much better now. We resemble a completely different team, not only on the field but also in the locker room, and the overall mood has undergone a remarkable transformation.”
Despite their existing record (3-12), the North finds themselves amidst the lower echelons of Betsafe-LKL, alongside Gargždai (3-12) and Kėdainiai ‘Necancer-Optibet (3-13). However, there is an unwavering optimism within the team regarding the continuation of their upward trajectory.
Looking ahead, Šiauliai is set to confront Pasvalys “Milk Stars” on Monday at 18:00—a pivotal game that holds immense significance for their playoff aspirations.
In an illuminating interview, Stankevičius delved into the profound impact of Urbonė’s coaching, the nuanced shifts in both emotional and tactical dimensions within the team, and their ambitious goals for both the Betsafe-LKL playoffs and the Citadele KMT Final Four. He accentuated Urbonė’s coaching style, characterized by energy and expressiveness, highlighting the palpable positive metamorphosis in the team’s dynamics.
Reflecting on the Mazuras era, Stankevičius candidly acknowledged a perceptible downward trajectory, particularly following defeats against formidable opponents like “Cancer-Optibet” and “Milk Stars.” The defeat to Palanga “Olympus” emerged as a pivotal setback, necessitating a concerted effort to rebuild the team’s eroded confidence.
With regards to the Citadele KMT quarter-finals, Stankevičius expressed disappointment in failing to capitalize on a substantial lead and articulated hopes for an improved performance in the upcoming games. Acknowledging the formidable challenge posed by Jonava CBet, he underscored the team’s heightened prospects under Urbonė’s astute guidance.
In summation, the interview illuminated the transformative impact of coaching changes on Šiauliai’s performance, underscoring their resolute determination to surmount past adversities in both domestic and international competitions.