With only three weeks left until the end of the Lithuanian League (LKL) regular season, the league’s board decided to change the format of the competition. It was announced that two of the country’s leading clubs – Zalgiris and Lietuvos Rytas – will not play in the quarterfinals and will be granted a direct passage to the semifinals.
This means that only four teams, placed between third and sixth in the standings, will play in the quarterfinals and the winner of the two pairs will face Zalgiris and Lietuvos Rytas. The semifinals format also changed, as teams will only play two legs instead of the best-of-three series.
However, the changes do not end here – if either of the two biggest clubs advances to the VTB League Final Four, the LKL Finals will be played in the best-of-five format. Otherwise, the finals will be conducted in the usual best-of-seven format.
According to LKL, the format changes were initiated by the Lithuanian Basketball Federation (LKF), which suggested the idea to give more time to rest for the national team members in the two major clubs before the pre-Olympic qualifying tournament in Venezuela.