“NEPTŪNAS“ STRAINED THE NERVES OF “ŽALGIRIS“ IN KAUNAS, BUT LOST
The players from Klaipėda, “Neptūnas” opposed Kaunas, “Žalgiris”, the multiple Lithuanian champions and the participants in the Euroleague well in the Lithuanian Basketball League championship – the home-court owners won and ended the match after a war of nerves with a result of 81:71 (18:16, 24:20, 17:21, and 22:14).
The start of the match went better for the players of “Neptūnas” - after 7 minutes, the players of Dainius Adomaitis were ahead by 6 points - 15:9.
However, the players of “Žalgiris” soon caught up and thus the nerve war was in full swing. Even though “Žalgiris” at one moment played a 15:4 stretch and amassed a two-digit lead - 40:30, but that did not break the players from Klaipėda.
After half-time the players from Kaunas got stuck in the defensive grip of “Neptūnas” and thus the nerves of Robertas Javtokas broke down. He earned a technical foul and went to the locker room. The players from Klaipėda reduced the deficit to a minimum - 46:45 and recaptured the intrigue of the game.
Later the players of “Žalgiris” did not keep calm - a technical foul was given to the bench players of “Žalgiris”, “Neptūnas” used this and once again reduced the deficit to one point - 56:57. During this match a technical foul was given to a player from “Neptūnas”.
Nevertheless, in the start of the fourth quarter, “Žalgiris” responded with a burst of 10:3 and did not let the players from Klaipėda come closer than 6 points.
“Žalgiris” - “Neptūnas” - 81:71 (18:16, 24:20, 17:21, and 22:14).
“Žalgiris”: Ian Vougiouk - 14 pts, Brock Motum - 12 pts, Olivier Hanlan and Mantas Kalnietis - 10 pts each, Edgaras Ulanovas - 9 pts, and Lukas Lekavičius - 8 pts.
“Neptūnas”: Jerai Grant - 15 pts (12 rebounds), Daniel Ewing - 14 pts, Donatas Zavackas - 11 pts, Arvydas Šikšnius, Martynas Mažeika and Mindaugas Girdžiūnas - 6 each, Simas Galdikas and Gilvydas Biruta - 4 each, and Arnas Butkevičius - 2 pts.
Dainius Adomaitis (head coach of “Neptūnas”): “I congratulate “Žalgiris” with a well-earned victory. It’s really unfortunate that we lost. Up until the start of the fourth quarter, up to the ill-fated technical foul that costed us 4 points everything did not look bad, but later “Žalgiris” began to dominate the restricted area… we decided to risk a little - double the defense in the restricted area, but that did no pay off. When playing against “Žalgiris“, one must always take a risk, do something unorthodox. Those mistakes of ours, to which “Žalgiris” scored those easy, fast points was also one of the moments that resulted in the victory of “Žalgiris”.
Gintaras Krapikas (head coach of “Žalgiris”): “I think that the main purpose - to win the match was achieved and I congratulated my team for that. In the third quarter we let our opponents get 7 rebounds on the offence and get back in the game. We have to stabilize the game and not let the opponents to do so. In the fourth quarter the picture changed, “Neptūnas” got only a few rebounds on the offence and that allowed us to win. The teamwork is fluctuating due to various reasons: lots of substitutions, lack in executing things by heart. I think that later the players will adapt to that and everything will get better.”
Wednesday - Eurocup start in Klaipėda
On October 14th in “Švyturio Arena” the players of “Neptūnas” will start the Eurocup championship versus the mighty team Istanbul, “Galtasaray”. The Eurocup tournament matches of “Neptūnas” both home and road games are going to be aired via LRT Culture Channel.
Having been placed in group F of the Eurocup tournament, “Neptūnas” will play two matches in October – a road game versus Jerusalem, “Hapoel” (October 21st) and at home versus Volgograd, “Krasny Oktyabr” (October 28th).
In November the players from Klaipėda await the match on a road game versus Nizhny Novgorod, “Nizhny Novgorod” (November 4th) and a match at home versus Athens, “AEK” (November 11th) and the second regular-season cycle match on a road game versus “Galatasaray” (November 18th), and a home match versus “Hapoel” (November 24th).
During the month of December the anticipated matches are versus “Krasny Okyabr” (December 2nd, in Russia), “Nizhny Novgorod” (December 9th, in Klaipėda) and Athens, “AEK” (December 16th, in a road game). With these matches the Eurocup tournament’s regular-season will come to an end. The best four teams out of six will advance to the next stage.