The players of Klaipėda, “Neptūnas” are back on the winning track in the Eurocup tournament’s “Last 32” stage – they beat the German basketball players of Berlin, “ALBA”. The players of Dainius Adomaitis brought down the eight-time German champions, the eight-time German Cup winners, participants in the Euroleague to their knees with a result of 73:65.
The players of “Neptūnas” started the match in a combative mood: the players from Klaipėda made a significant 12:0 run after Arnas Butkevičius scored five points (3-pointer and 2-pointer), Jerai Grant hit the free throw, and Donatas Zavackas and Martynas Mažeika each hit a long-distance
shot. The opponents earned their first points at the beginning of the fifth minute.
The first quarter was won by the players from Klaipėda with an 11 point difference – 20:9.
In the second quarter the Germans caught up to 2 points – 23:25, but soon “Neptūnas” answered with a 7:0 run and pulled away again – 32:23. With 12 seconds left on the clock until the end of the second quarter, the players of “Neptūnas” restored the 12 point advantage – 38:26, but up to halftime the Germans, mostly due to the effort from Elmedin Kikanović and Will Cherry, softened the advantage just a little bit – 29:38.
Will Cherry, the former player of “Žalgiris” and a former NBA player went into frenzy even more in the third quarter and helped “ALBA” to take the lead – 41:40, 43:40. Soon the players of “Neptūnas” were ahead again, after Arnas Butkevičius and Mindaugas Girdžiūnas hit the free throws – 48:45, 50:47.
Even so, just before the fourth quarter “ALBA” tipped the score in their favor by 2 points – 52:50.
In the fourth quarter Daniel Ewing, point guard and the main player of “Neptūnas” was punished with a disqualifying foul. This angered Klaipėda‘s basketball fans who clearly expressed their displeasure in the referee’s call. Inspired by the fans, the players of “Neptūnas” gained strength and not only did they caught up to the opponents, but mostly due to the effort of Donatas Zavackas and Martynas Mažeika, they swiftly were able to gain a 10 point lead – 67:57. The players from Klaipėda played the end of the match tactically and celebrated a very joyful victory.
“Neptūnas” – “ALBA” – 73:65 (20:9, 18:20, 12:23, 23:13)
“Neptūnas”: Arnas Butkevičius –18, Mindaugas Girdžiūnas – 14, Jerai Grant – 10, Martynas Mažeika, Donatas Zavackas and Daniel Ewing – 9 each, Arvydas Šikšnius and Vytautas Šarakauskas – 2 pts each.
“ALBA”: Will Cherry – 17, Dragan Milosavljević – 16, and Elmedin Kikanović – 15. “Neptūnas” will play the third match in the Eurocup tournament‘s “Last 32” stage on January 19th (Tuesday) in Milan (Italy) against the team “Emporio Armani” (Italy) at 21:00. A week later, on January 26th (Tuesday), “Neptūnas” and “Emporio Armani” will meet in “Švyturio Arena” at 19:45.
We would like to remind you that in the Eurocup tournament‘s „Last 32“ stage the players from Klaipėda were defeated by the basketball players of Thessaloniki, “Aris” with a result of 58:84;
“ALBA” did not have any trouble at home against the team Milan, “Emporio Armani” and defeated them with a result of 83:67.
The next LKL match “Neptūnas” will play on January 16th (Saturday) at 18:00 in “Švyturio Arena” against the team Panevėžys, “Lietkabelis” which is coached by Kazys Maskvytis, the former strategist of “Nept8nas“. Lately the players from Panevėžys are playing on a roll – on Sunday at home they defeated the team Vilnius, “Lietuvos rytas” with a result of 75:65.
The club “Neptūnas” is thankful to their fans for a wonderful and warm support.