The Klaipeda Neptunas basketball players did not manage to overcome the Kragujevac Radnicki team in Serbia losing with the score of 91:81. This defeat has buried the Neptunas player’s hopes of reaching the second stage of the Eurocup tournament.
We remind you that the Neptunas players lost to the Radnicki team after the intense fight in Klaipeda on 6th November. This time the match scenario in Serbia was inferior for the Neptunas players: the Serbs had the lead from the start of the game - 9:2, 15:6.
Though, after Justas Sinica and Edgaras Ulanovas 2-pointers the Neptunas players reduced the gap to 4 points - 15:11, but the players of Radnicki quickly jumped forward with the score 27:14 and after a few more shots from downtown they had the 19 points lead with the score of 44:25.
The players of Kazys Maksvytis managed to reduce the gap to 10 points - 89:79, but they lacked strength and time to change the pace of the game.
Kazys Maksvytis (Neptunas head coach): "During the first half of the match we let the opponent run forward with the score, so it was hard to get back into the rhythm. During our first match we lost disappointingly in Klaipeda, so we badly wanted to correct our mistake in a tougher manner in Serbia, but we failed. We started badly and we had no chance during the first two quarters. Through the three quarters we made seventeen 3-pointer attempts and scored only once. It is very hard to say anything... The players made shots from quite favourable positions, but the ball just did not enter the basket. Later on the opponents relaxed and we reduced the gap. However, sad as it is, we need to admit and the opponents were stronger. We could not find any antidote against them. The last match of the Eurocup tournament against Spartak in Klaipeda will be a game with nothing to play for. However, it is a matter of honour for us to beat them. We want to get revenge.
Martynas Mazeika (Captain of the Neptunas team): "The Serbs were really stronger today. Neither our brains nor our feet worked tonight so to say ... We had very few chances. We have this feeling that we lost not 10, but 30 points. The score does not reflect the run of the game. You may say we lost during the first two quarters and it was hard to get back into it. If the Serbs "catch" the game, then it is practically impossible to get back or win against them."
Radnicki - Neptunas - 91:81 (31:20, 22:16, 19:17, 19:28).
The following players distinguished themselves in the Radnicki team: Sava Lesic scored 20 points, Nikola Kalinic added 17 points (8 rebounds), Stefanas Bircevic and Marko Marinovic (15 assist, 8 turnovers) scored 11 points.
Neptunas: Edgaras Ulanovas scored 17 points, Justas Sinica - 15 (3/7 three-pointers), Simas Galdikas - 12 (7 rebounds), Valdas Vasylius added 10 points.
In Serbia Neptunas could not play its best team: Vytautas Sarakauskas stayed in Lithuania to have his nose operated on. Before this game, Neptunas bid farewell with its legionnaire David McClure under mutual understanding. He moved to Siauliai.
Neptunas is playing one more game with the Saint Petersburg's Spartak (Russia) in the Eurocup tournament. This game is held in the “Svyturio arena” of Klaipeda on 18th December, 7 pm. This will be the closing match for Neptunas.
On 13th November the Neptunas players had to admit the advantage of Spartak with the score of 88:75.
We remind you that the players of Klaipeda had three victories in the Eurocup tournaments: they defeated the leaders of group H Istanbul Besiktas in Istanbul with the score of 74:83, the Loimaa Bisons (Finland) with the 13 points advantage - 85:72 and the Athens Panionios (Greece) in Athens with the score of 86:91.
Last Sunday the players of Neptunas defeated Kedainiai Nevezis with the score of 68:69 during the away game of the Lithuanian Basketball League (LKL).
- Statistika: For game statistics push here