VILNIUS, May 21 (Xinhua) -- Lithuanian basketball club Zalgiris Kaunas, which finished third at 2017/18 Euroleague season, were cheered by thousands fans on Monday.
Zalgiris Kaunas edged CSKA Moscow 79-77 to get the bronze on Sunday evening in Belgrade, which is the highest achievement made by a Lithuanian basketball club in European top tier competition in two decades.
Zalgiris Kaunas had been crowned at the 1999 Euroleague.
"We are third, but after we saw you, we feel like we are the first, thank you," Palius Jankunas, the veteran captain of the team, told the fans in Kaunas.
Head coach Sarunas Jasikevicius told the fans, "During 1000 games of this season, we had played against stronger teams, and we managed to trick those teams. This team is fantastic."
With the annual budget of just 8.5 million euros Zalgiris Kaunas surprised the European basketball world by making it to the final four of the Euroleague where the team beat CSKA Moscow with a total budget of 36.5 million euros in 2017/18 season.
Jasikevicius himself had been champion of the Euroleague for four times as a player with Barcelona, Maccabi Tel Aviv, Panathinaikos Athens.
Jasikevicius is also to receive the State award from Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite, the President's Office told local news website 15min.lt on Monday.
Lithuania, a small Baltic state with a population of less than 3 million, currently stands 6th in FIBA world rankings.