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“Neptūnas” stood against “Žalgiris” for a long time, but lost (comments)

On Sunday in Klaipėda, the players of Klaipėda, “Neptūnas” created a real basketball show – up until the last seconds they stood against Kaunas, “Žalgiris”. Unfortunately, this time in a pack arena in “Švytui Arena” the victory and the result of 82:73 was celebrated by “Žalgiris“ who had to really sweat for it.

Edgaras Ulanovas was the first one to score in this match, who plunged a 3-pointer. Soon Brock Motum added a two-pointer and “Žalgiris” took the lead – 5:0. Halfway into the quarter, the players of “Neptūnas” with the efforts of Martynas Mažeika, Arnas Butkevičius, Donatas Zavackas and Daniel Ewing almost restored the balance - 8:9. Even so, the first quarter was won by the players of “Žalgiris” by 9 points – 43:39.

The teams went into halftime with the players from Kaunas leading by 4 points – 43:39.

The players from Klaipėda fought mightily in the third quarter and for a few times were able lead with a minimal difference – 52:51, 57:56. Nevertheless, the players of “Žalgiris” led by Paulius Jankūnas, their captain, played the last moments of the match better and took away the victory from Klaipėda.

“Neptūnas” – “Žalgiris” – 73:82 (17:26, 22:17, 18:18, and 16:21)

“Neptūnas”: Danielis Ewingas - 21, Jarai Grant - 16, Travis Bader and Donatas Zavackas – 9 each, Arnas Butkevičius – 7, Martynas Mažeika – 6, Gilvydas Biruta and Vytautas Šarakauskas – 2 each, Arvydas Šikšnius – 1 pt. Mindaugas Girdžiūnas did not earn any points.

“Žalgiris”: Paulius Jankūnas - 24 (3/5 2-pointers, 3/4 3-pointers, 9/10 free-throws), Mantas Kalnietis - 16 (6 assists), Edgaras Ulanovas - 12, Ian Vougiouk – 9 pts.

Dainius Adomaitis (Head Coach of “Neptūnas”): “First of all, congratulations to “Žalgiris” with the victory. Were started the match not as we wanted. We hoped to start the match with energy, be really aggressive, but we failed. That was the malady. Later we found the right energy, we found that rhythm, but “Žalgiris” with their rotation and aggressive play provoked us by the fact that with every minute we started to lack the strength and we began to make silly mistakes. “Žalgiris” studies their opponents well, they used Paulius Jankunas. In the end we took some risk and Paulius Jankunas used that – he hit three out of four 3-pointers. I am glad that the people were very active in the “Žaislų lietus“event. If someone can share something, then one should do that. I am glad that the people of Klaipėda so willingly and abundantly participated in this event.

Gintaras Krapikas (Head Coach of “Žalgiris”): “It is fun to play in this kind of atmosphere when the support from the fans is magnificent. The match was great; I would like to praise my men. In this restless environment we stayed solid. At the start of the match we had too many turnovers. At one point the players from Klaipėda took the lead, but in the fourth quarter we reduced the amount of turnovers and won the match, which was very important to us. At the end of the match we played with shorter players, with Ian Vougiouk and Brock Matum. Vougiouk plays well on the offence, but on the defense it is a little bit tough for him. He is late against fast guards. Jerai Grant is not tall enough to dominate under the basket which is why at the end of the match I decided to play with five shorter players. Why did I not let Martynas Pocius out into the court? I would like to give the chance to play to everybody, but in this kind of a tense game I do not want to risk it. There is no need for special excuses, I never hold back anyone on the bench on purpose. The most important thing is to win the match. There are lots of matches to come, he will surely play yet”

“Neptūnas” is thankful to its fans who heartily supported Klaipėda‘s team players. The match of “Neptūnas” vs. “Žalgiris” in “Švyturio Arena” was spectated in a packed arena – 5500 basketball fans. Also, we would like to say a heartwarming thank you for your generosity, for the plush toys, which flew into the court after the first quarter, creating a “Žaislų lietus“(a rain of toys). The gathered toys are going to be donated to children from socially disadvantaged and large family centers, orphanages, daycare centers.

The next match “Neptūnas” will play on December 8th, Wednesday at 19:00 against the team Nizhny Novgorod, “Nizhny Novgorod”. We would like to remind you that the players of “Neptūnas” won against this team on November 4th in Russia with a result of 82:78. The players of “Nizhny Novgorod” are coming to Klaipėda for a rematch, but the players from Klaipėda have no intentions of giving away the victory on their own home court, abundantly supported by their own fans.

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