Martynas Gecevicius named League's Top Lithuanian Player

Lietuvos Rytas guard Martynas Gecevicius has been named the 2013-2014 VTB United League's Top Lithuanian Player. He was honored in Vilnius prior to Game 3 of the Lietuvos Rytas - Nizhny Novgorod semifinal series. VTB United League executive director Tomas Pacesas was on hand to present Gecevicius with his prize. 

This is the second-straight year that the VTB United League has honored the top individual players in each of the League's nine countries. In the six nations represented by just one club (Latvia, Estonia, Poland, Belarus, Czech Republic and Kazakhstan), the League picks the winners. Elsewhere, in Russia (represented by 10 clubs), Lithuania and Ukraine (two clubs each), the top player is determined by the League and a leading sports media outlet in that country: Russian information agency R-Sport (RIA-Novosti), Lithuanian website basketnews.lt and Ukrainian website basket-planet.com.

Martynas Gecevicius wins the award for the first time (Lokomotiv-Kuban guard Mantas Kalnietis was honored last season). This season, Gecevicius beat out Neptunas forward Vitautas Sarakauskas and Lietuvos Rytas forward Darius Songaila in the voting by the League and basketnews.lt. 

During the VTB United League regular season, Gecevicius played in 17 games for Lietuvos Rytas, averaging 13.5 points, 3.5 assists and an efficiency rating of 13.7. He was a big reason Rytas finished in 2nd place in its group and swept Triumph in the quarterfinals (17.3 points, 3.3 assists and an efficiency rating of 17.0 in that series). 

- I'm pleasantly surprised that I received this award, - said Martynas Gecevicius in an interview with VTB-League.com. - I think several Lithuanians were in contention, not just from Lietuvos Rytas. No question, this recognition means a lot. It's an assessment of what you're doing on the court. At the same time, I have a lot of motivation to reach new heights. I'll try not to disappoint our fans in the future.  

Martynas Gecevicius is already the eighth player to be honored as the top player in his country this season. Poland's Damian Kulig (Turow), Estonia's Rain Veideman (Kalev), Ukraine's Kyrylo Natyazhko (Azovmash), Czech Republic's Vojtech Hruban (Nymburk), Kazakhstan's Anatoly Kolesnikov (Astana), Latvia's Janis Blums (Astana) and Belarus's Vladimir Veremeenko (UNICS) have already been honored. The Russian honoree will be announced during the playoff finals.