In Lithuania, everybody says “In our country, basketball is like second religion.” Everyone goes to church, and after church, we just go to basketball courts. Basketball is everything.
The population of our country is only 2.5 million, but the market of basketball games is big. We can have six import players in each team, but we have very good local players. So we don’t care how many international players are allowed.
Basketball is the most popular sport in Lithuania. We have four professional leagues. We also join in some European-wide basketball competitions, even EuroLeague. Right now, in Lithuania we have one team which is the top four strongest in Europe. I think for a small country like us, it’s very good.
Furthermore, when it’s game season, the gyms are usually packed out. For example, there is one team whose gym’s capacity is 15,000 people. It's always full. The atmosphere is amazing. It’s crazy. Don’t forget we just have 2.5 million people in total.
We have the home court system. I think it’s better because now in Taiwan, the fans are coming to the gym, but they don’t know what to support. They just come to watch the game. Nobody is coming exactly like “Oh, this is my home team.”
In Lithuania, when your city has a team, all the people from the city go to support. That's why every time it’s almost full gym. It’s nice to have own court. Also, when a team has their own gym, it’s more convenient to practice. They don’t need to go to different places every time.
But home court system in Europe sometimes is a little inconvenient. I remember when we played in one league and we were going to play with other country, the bus ride is like 10 hours. This was really bad. In Taiwan, we have been to Changhua to play games. It’s like two-hour ride. It is nothing for me.
After I came to Taiwan, what I need to adapt is the density of the games. Back home, we play one or two games per week. Usually the game is on Tuesday, and then the second game is on Friday or Saturday. After a game, we have a day off to recover or have some small practices just to stretch, then practice, and another game.
I remember that last time in Changhua, we played three games in a row. It’s hard to play with full concentration in the third game. We were just exhausted. I understand that the league doing this for fans, but it's very hard for players.
However, that is also why it’s interesting to play around world because every league has different stories. Here, SBL has many tournaments every week. It's hard, but this is player’s life. We have to do what we have to do. Thus, I need to adapt myself to the schedule here. Monday is our day off, so I cherish the time to recover to face the following practices and games.
這一路走來 | 呂奇旻
圓一個台啤夢 | 于煥亞