The players of Klaipėda, “Neptūnas” finally passed the barrier of the opponent’s court in the Eurocup tournament - in Russia, the players of Dainius Adomaitis defeated one of the former leaders in the F group, the players from Nizhny Novgorod Oblast, “Nizhny Novgorod”, trained by Ainars Bagatskis with a result of 82:78 (13:17, 20:21, 18:25, and 31:15). This is already the second and especially important victory for the players from Klaipėda in the Eurocup tournament.
The coastline’s basketball players played the fourth quarter fantastically - 31:15; this determined the victory.
The players of “Neptūnas” at one moment in the third quarter were behind by 15 points (43:58); even so, they did not fall into disarray, they emerged for a decisive assault and gave all their strength; they simply demonstrated an example of the fighting capacity and thus they could enjoy the fruits of their labor - in the beginning of the fourth quarter they played an astonishing 16:0 run which allowed them to take the initiative into their hands.
The players from Klaipėda started the fourth quarter with a successful raid by Mindaugas Girdžiūnas; shortly after, Travis Bader landed two long-range bombs; Arnas Butkevičius attacked succesfully and M. Girdžiūnas made two free throws. The players from Klaipėda gained confidence in their strength and at the end of the match played in cold blood - with 15 seconds left on the clock, A. Butkevičius with his free throws took the players of “Neptūnas” into the lead - 78:77, yet the victory for “Neptūnas” was solidified by Arvydas Šikšnius, who demonstrated his calm nerves and did not falter at the free throw line - 82:78.
Adomaitis (Head Coach of “Neptūnas”): “First of all, we are glad with the victory on a road game which is a lot more difficult to do then at home. It is nice that were able to overcome the barrier of the opponent’s court. It is double the joy that we were able to defeat “Nizhny Novgorod”, a very strong team. After all, a few days ago they defeated not just anybody, but the wealthiest clubs in Europe - Moscow, “CSKA Moscow” and “Khimki”. That says a lot about the team’s capability of “Nizhny Novgorod”. Due to that, the victory is twice as sweet to us. Regarding the match itself, at first we watched out for the opponent’s snipers, so we covered them at the three-point line, but we allowed them to rampage under the basket. It is gratifying that in the fourth quarter we managed to find the players who were most suited for today’s plan to defend and often punish the opponents with fast attacks. We played a great 16:0 run and took the initiative into our own hands. I am proud for the fighting capacity of our men; and the victory.
“Nizhny Novgorod” - “Neptūnas” - 78:82 (17:13, 21:20, 25:18, and 15:31).
“Nizhny Novgorod”: R. Mahalbašić - 24 (10/11 2-pointers, 7 rebounds), V.Rudd - 18 (4/6 3-pointers), J.Baburin - 11 pts.
“Neptūnas”: A.Butkevičius (9/10 free-throws) and D.Ewingas - 12 each, M.Mažeika - 10, M.Girdžiūnas - 9, S.Galdikas and D.Zavackas (6 rebounds) - 8 each, T.Bader - 6, A.Šikšnius - 6, J. Grant and V. Šarakauskas - 4 each, and G. Biruta - 3 pts.
It is interesting to note that up until now the players of “Nizhny Novgorod” have not lost a game at home this season in the Eurocup and the VTB United League. The players from Klaipėda proved that they are real fighters and were able to put the greatly wealthier players of “Nizhny Novgorod” to the ground in their own home court. This victorious feat of “Neptūnas” could not only be seen by the Lithuanian and Russian fans, but also by all the basketball fans in Europe – the match was broadcasted live by the “Eurosport 2” channel.
It is the first victory on a road game for “Neptūnas” in the Eurocup tournament over the past two years. The last time “Neptūnas” won on a road game was in the international tournament against the team Istanbul, “Beşiktaş“ (Turkey). This was on November 27th, 2013 when the players of the current coach Kazys Maksvytis celebrated the victory with a 9 point difference - 83:74.
- Statistika: Game statistics