Klaipėda, “Neptūnas” won the fourth victory in the Lithuanian Basketball League (“Tete-a-Tete Casino-LKL”) championship - the players of Dainius Adomaitis defeated the ambitious local team of Šiauliai, “Šiauliai” with a result of 75:68.
The start of the match was persistent and nervous, but just before the end of the first quarter the players from Šiauliai started to lead - 27:22 and after a few moments were ahead by 7 points - 29:22. Soon the players of “Neptūnas” woke up - they played a 12:4 run and tipped the score in their favor - 34:33. An unsettling fight proceeded until the end of the third quarter, but “Neptūnas” before the decisive fourth quarter was ahead by 4 points - 55:51 and did not let the players from Šiauliai to tip the score anymore.
“Šiauliai“- “Neptūnas” - 68:75 (27:22, 10:16, 14:17, and 17:20).
“Neptūnas” was lead to victory by Mindaugas Girdžiūnas, who score 18 points (2/2 2-pointers, 4/6 3-pointers, 2/2 free throws, and 3 assists), Jerai Grant added 13 points, Martynas Mažeika and Donatas Zavackas (8 rebounds) - 11 each, Simas Galdikas - 6, Daniel Ewing and Arnas Butkevičius - 5 each, Arvydas Šikšnius - 4, and Vytautas Šarakauskas - 2 pts.
Among the ranks of “Šiauliai“, Artūras Jomantas scored 20 points, Assam Marrei and Gintaras Leonavičius added 12 points each, Paulius Dambrauskas - 7 pts.
The players of “Neptūnas” slightly won the fight for rebounds - 34:29, but had more turnovers - 19:9. “Šiauliai” out of 30 free throws scored only 19, “Neptūnas” out of 14 free throws scored 11. The players from Šiauliai attacked poorer from the 3-point line (5/12 against 8/16).
Mindaugas Girdžiūnas (Man of the Match of “Neptūnas”): “Throughout the whole match we were concentrated, except for the first quarter, during which we let 27 points through. Concentration is exactly what determined the victory. Today I had opportunities to throw unguarded and I used them. Little by little we gained momentum, got used to the new coach, tactics; I think that everything will be okay.
Dainius Adomaitis (Head Coach of “Neptūnas”): “We emphasized a lot that we have to win the fight for rebounds. They play in the restricted area very well; have a lot of second chances. We saw that the players of “Šiauliai” played in the FIBA Eurocup tournament against the mighty team from Turkey. I said that we have to win the fight in the restricted area. That, in my opinion, was the main key to victory. We know that “Šiauliai” play a very physical game - a lot of crossovers, lots of contact in the restricted area, it was very important for them to hold their own and be aggressive on the defense. How do I evaluate that we made a lot of fouls? I do not know, the referees decide the level of contact.”
Gediminas Petraukas (Head Coach of “Šiauliai“): “I congratulate “Neptūnas” and their coach, Dainius Adomaitis, with the victory. It was a good match. They had very little time to prepare for this match - after the trip to Russia… But they prepared well; I think that we were prepared to defend, but it is difficult for us to attack; with that kind of field goal percentage it is very difficult to win. We have to improve our field goal percentage. For their effort, the will to win and everything I can’t say anything to the players… we lacked greater contributions from a few people. But the defense of the opponents throws us of our game, does not let us get into it and thus it is difficult to play. We do not have time to sorrow, on Tuesday we await the match against the team from Bratislava, we need to prepare, and we must hold our heads high and we have to learn from our mistakes and get down to work and fight.”
- Statistika: Statistics