Having the lead up to the fourth quarter and having a 13 point advantage for a few times, Klaipėda, “Neptūnas” at the end of the match still succumbed to Vilnius, “Lietuvos rytas” with a result of 62:72.
The players of “Neptūnas” started the match powerfully – soon they made a 6:0, 11:2 run. The players from Vilnius were stuck in the defensive grip of the players from Klaipėda and during the first 6.5 minutes were only able to score 2 points, whilst the players of “Neptūnas” scored 13.
The first quarter ended with the players of “Neptūnas” having a 12 point advantage - 23:11.
In the second quarter the players of Dainius Adomaitis continued to dictate the conditions of the game and for a few times the advantage reached 13 points - 33:20, 36:23. The teams went into halftime with Klaipėda having the advantage with a result of 36:25.
In the third quarter Rokas Giedraitis demonstrated a show of long-range shots and helped the players from Vilnius to catch up to a minimum - 45:45; and just before the fourth quarter the advantage of the players of “Neptūnas“ was only 2 points - 49:47.
In the middle of the fourth quarter, for the first time in this match the players from Vilnius took the lead after Nicolas Laprovittola made the free throws - 54:53; however, soon Jerai Grant, the legionnaire of “Neptūnas”, tipped the score with a mighty dunk - 55:54. Shortly after Rokas Giedraitis, one of the most resultative players of “Lietuvos rytas” successfully attacked from the 3-point line twice and Kšyštof Lavrinovič ended another attack with a dunk. After these moments the players from Vilnius were ahead by 7 points - 62:55 and did not let the victory slip out of their hands.
The photo album of the match is HERE.
Dainius Adomaitis (Head Coach of “Neptūnas”): “The first half of the match was really good. Everyone followed the rules, executed what we had planned and everything went splendidly. But those several minutes in the third quarter, when we made a few turnovers, allowed “Lietuvos rytas” to get back in the game. We lost our concentration, allowed the opponents to even the score and eventually win the match. Everything adds up from small details, especially when defending. And we made too much mistakes on the defense in the second half. Regardless of the loss, our game is getting better; the players understand what I want from them better.”
Marcelo Nicola (Head Coach of “Lietuvos rytas”): “We started the match nervously, feeling the pressure thus we had problems. When we fixed the defense, we brought in the energy and gained our confidence back. Except for the first quarter, we defended well. And that provided us the confidence in the attack. During halftime I emphasized to the players that it is necessary to defend more actively. When you let easy points get through it becomes more difficult to attack because you have to play five versus five. But when we are able to defend, we can attack faster and gain the advantage that way. It is without a doubt that the victory was determined due to the defense.”
“Neptūnas” - “Lietuvos rytas” - 62:72 (23:11, 13:14, 13:22, and 13:25).
“Neptūnas”: Daniel Ewing - 13, Jerai Grant - 11 (6 rebounds), Martynas Mažeika - 10, Arvydas Šikšnius - 7, Travis Bader, Mindaugas Girdžiūnas, Donatas Zaveckas and Simas Galdikas - 4 each, Arnas Butkevičius - 3, and Vytautas Šarakauskas - 2 pts.
“Lietuvos rytas”: Nicolas Laprovittola - 22 (6 rebounds, 9 assists), Rokas Giedraitis - 20, Kšyštofas Lavrinovičius - 10, and Julius Jucikas - 6.
The next match “Neptūnas” will play on November 4th (Wednesday) at 18:00 in Russia against the team “Nizhny Novgorod”, which participated in the Euroleague last year. This will be a Eurocup match. Later, on November 7th (Saturday), the players from Klaipėda await the confrontation against the local team “Šiauliai” in Šiauliai (LKL match).
The closest home game for “Neptūnas” will be on November 11th (Wednesday) at 19:00 in “Švyturio Arena” against the team Athens, “AEK” (Eurocup).