By Johnny Askounis/ email@example.com
Scheduling issues persisting forced the Lithuanian Basketball Federation to name a separate head coach for the upcoming games of the senior national team in the 2023 FIBA World Cup Qualifiers.
Kestutis Kemzura will take over in the November and February international windows on the 2022-23 winter schedule, LKF announced Monday.
Kazys Maksvytis will be back as the national team selector in the final stage of the World Cup if the squad guided by Kemzura guides clinches a berth. He will continue working with the national team until the end of the Olympic cycle and will coach Lithuania in the Olympic Games if the team qualifies.
Maksvytis, 45, is also the head coach of Zalgiris, besides the senior national team of his country. The well-documented conflict between the schedules of the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Regular Season and the international windows set by FIBA prevent him from coaching Lithuania in the next months.
Kemzura, 52, as the head coach of Lithuania won the bronze medal in the 2010 FIBA World Cup. He went on to end up in the fifth spot of the 2011 EuroBasket final rankings. Recently returning as an assistant under Maksvytis led to the new head coaching gig.
Back to Lithuania, the starting point is at 7-1 and on top of the Group K standings. Four games are left but even one win can be enough for punching in the ticket to the final stage of the World Cup. France at home and Montenegro on the road shape the November window. Hungary at home and France on the road make the February window.