After a long break, the basketball players of Klaipeda Neptunas played a match in the Lithuanian Basketball League (LKL) and gained a victory in Kedainiai with the score of 68:69 beating the players of Nevezis.
The players of Kazys Maksvytis started the match better and they had a double digit advantage after Simas Gladikas’ free throws in the first quarter with the score of 9:19.
In the middle of the second quarter, after a Justas Sinica 3-pointer, the gap leaped to 14 points - 26:40. However, the players of Neptunas made some turnovers and the hosts of the arena took advantage of this winning margin with the score of 11:2 and the gap reduced to 5 points - 37:42 before the big break.
The second half of the game was tougher. At the end of the third quarter a player of Nevezis Vidas Ginevicius tied the match with the score of 52:52. However, the Neptunas players woke up and they were in the lead with the score 52:56 before the fourth quarter after offensive shots from Marius Runkauskas and Mindaugas Girdziunas.
Shortly, after another down-play, the players of Kedainiai were in the lead with the score of 58:56 after an effective shot from legionnaire Tyrone Brazelton.
Edgaras Ulanovas immediately responded with an effective shot with a foul and overturned the score to their advantage - 59:58.
When 2.5 min. were left until the end of the fourth quarter, the score was drawn at 63:63. But soon the captain of the Neptunas team Martynas Mazeika knocked down from downtown and he forced the opponents to foul him during the other attack and he scored one free throw point out of two - 63:67.
At 1.30 min. Before the end of the match Arvydas Siksnius scored a 3-pointer and put Nevezis in the lead again - 68:67. During another attack, Vytautas Sarakauskas did not score from downtown, but, fortunately, they played well in defence and the players of Nevezis fouled A. Mazeika immediately. He shot both free throws and Neptunas was in the lead again with the score at 68:69.
The hosts had 31 sec. to make an effective attack, but the players of Neptunas demonstrated an exemplary defence and pulled a victory out the bag.
It was the fourth victory of Neptunas in the LKL championship.
Kazys Maksvytis (Neptunas head coach): "Everything was for the spectators, we played so it would have been interesting to watch the game (he laughs - authors remark). Talking seriously, it is good that we have won against this strong team. The history will say that we have won, the gap does not make any difference. The Nevezis team is a really strong team having very good players and gathering a lot of their fans into the stands. At least for the time being, when their financial matters have not toppled them over. Though, they have some unsolved issues with finance... Anything could happen in this game. However, perhaps our experience in the international arenas and frequent intensive games until the last seconds have stiffened us. This time the basketball fortune was on our side."
Gintaras Leonavicius (Nevezis head coach): "I am very disappointed. It is very upsetting to lose by one point at home. I did not like how we played at the end of the game. We did not solve some problems, which appeared to be crucial at the end of the game. We expected such an uncompromising and militant fight. But we lacked little composure and good decisions. I cannot blame anybody, because the tension did its job. Without doubt, Neptunas' experience in the Eurocup tournament and the VTB United League contributed to a win. They have played a few intensive games like this. Neptunas increased their experience with each end of such games."
Nevezis - Neptunas - 68:69 (16:24, 21:18, 15:14, 16:13).
Nevezis: Tairon Brazelton and Arvydas Siksnius - 17, Valdas Dabkus - 16 (10 rebounds), Gintaras Leonavicius - 11 points.
Neptunas: Martynas Mazeika - 13, Edgaras Ulanovas - 12, Marius Runkauskas and Vytautas Sarakauskas (7 rebounds) - 10 points each, Valdas Vasylius - 8, Justas Sinica - 5, Mindaugas Girdziunas - 4, Arvydas Eitutavicius - 3.
Neptunas won the rebound (39:28), but made more turnovers (19:10).
Neptunas is playing their next game in Serbia against the local Kragujevac Radnicki team on 11th December (on Wednesday). It will be the second game with this team of the Eurocup tournament.
Vytautas Sarakauskas is not going to Serbia. His nose will be operated on. The basketball player sacrificed playing with his nose broken for his team.
KKneptūnas.lt and BasketNews.lt information
- Statistika: For game statistics push here