For fans

Thank you, Mantas!

One of the best defenders in the history of Lokomotiv-Kuban played his farewell match in his career.

A native of the city of Kaunas, he is a pupil of the local basketball school. It is not surprising that Mantas Kalnietis took his first steps in professional basketball at Zalgiris in 2006. And yesterday, here, in the arena crowded with fans, he finished his career.

Kalnietis played in the French and Italian championships. But the Russian stage of his career is special. In the VTB United League, he was loyal to only one club – Lokomotiv Kuban. They say that you will not enter the same river twice, but his 5 seasons in two visits to the “Loco” refute this popular idea.

It was with Loko that he won the European Cup in the 2012/13 season. And in the 2020/21 season, he helped the team to take second place for the first time in history according to the results of the regular part of the championship.

The contribution of the Lithuanian defender was highly appreciated – he was the first of the railwaymen to be recognized as the MVP of the regular part of the VTB United League championship. The performance of the 34-year-old player, who found his second youth in Krasnodar, was really impressive – the best assistant in the league (9.8 assists is the best indicator in history) and the third in efficiency (17.3 points). He also averaged 9.6 points per game.

Kalnietis was a reliable partner for the players and remains one of the main favorites of the Kuban fans.

Mantas Kalnietis played his final match in his career. For five bright years he defended the colors of our club, was a fan favorite and remains one of the most decorated players in the history of the club. In 2021, he received the MVP award, becoming the most valuable player of the VTB United League regular season. I sincerely wish Mantas good spirits and do not stop there, conquering new horizons!

I was really lucky to start my professional career in the VTB United League in the same team with Mantas. He's probably the best point guard I've played with so far – a real playmaker who primarily created situations for partners. A very emotional guy – we got scoldings from him both on the court and in the locker room. But, given his experience and understanding of the game, it is well deserved. Yes, he was older than many, but he was always in the "topic", in the party. Mantas is a real senior friend and mentor. You could always turn to him for advice.

If I had to imagine only one player in the Loko uniform when the Euroleague anthem "I feel devotion" is playing, it would be Mantas. His famous "goat" will forever be in the memory of our BH!

Young and hot–headed, on his first visit to the club, and wise and cold-blooded - on the second, Mancito will forever remain in the memory of fans as a player who gave himself completely to the team! Thank you, Legend!

I was skeptical about Mantas' second visit to the club. Firstly, the player has not become younger, and secondly, very rarely returns end in something good. But Mantas has become not just a leader, but a system-forming player. He spent his "golden years" at Loko, was wonderful in everything and will always be remembered exactly like that.

Mancito is probably one of the coolest and most beloved players of Loko. An incredible vision of the site, the right emotions for the team, mentoring and support for young people, matured when making decisions on the site — this is Mantas for me!

Kalnietis’ international career as a member of the Lithuanian national team is really impressive. The winner of the European and World Championships has left a noticeable mark in modern basketball as an outstanding playmaker.

Thank you, Legend!

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