During the VTB United League match, the basketball players of Klaipeda Neptunas, thinned out by injuries and illnesses, failed to win against the Ukrainian vice-champions - Mariupol Azovmash. The Ukrainian basketball players earned the victory with the score of 85:74.
The Neptunas players, who left for the Ukraine without the injured Marius Runkauskas (he has injured his feet muscles), Justas Sinica (split tarsus bands) and legionnaire Andrew Smith (plagued by health problems) resisted the hosts, but they lacked strength to earn a victory in the end.
The players of Klaipeda won the first quarter with the score of 18:24 and the score was tied 39:39 before the main break. The third quarter turned sour for the Neptunas players, which they lost with the score of 30:20 and they let the opponents take a double digit lead with the score of 69:59. This was a crucial break of the Ukrainians, after which Neptunas could not recover.
The first match of the season between these teams, held in Klaipeda on 13th October 2013, was more gripping and tougher - at that time the Ukrainians only stole the victory in overtime with the score of 86:96.
Azovmash - Neptunas - 85:74 (18:24, 21:15, 30:20, 16:15).
Daniel Kickert, scoring 23 points, 15 points added by Coleman Collins and Igor Zaicev, 10 points by Marcus Ginyard, brought the Ukrainians to the victory.
Martynas Mazeika, scoring 24 points, Simas Galdikas adding 16 points, Valdas Vasylius – 12, Edgaras Ulanovas – 9 (10 rebounds), Mindaugas Girdziunas – 7, Vytautas Sarakauskas – 4, Arvydas Eitutavicius – 2 pt., were distinguished among the Neptunas players.
Kazys Maksvytis (Neptunas head coach): "We left for the Ukraine straight away after the LKL game with Vilnius Lietuvos Rytas, so we were not ready - we did not have any time to rest and recover. Besides, we are thinned out by injuries, so it is very hard to sustain such a rhythm only with eight players. In the second part of the match we were tired, lagged behind and we could not regain the balance. We must, by necessarily, strengthen the team with new players in the near future, which we are going to do. So far, I cannot say anything about it in detail. It should come up in the coming days."
Another home game is being played by Neptunas against Tsmoki-Minsk team (on Sunday) at 6 pm, on 12th January. This will be a game of the VTB United League.
- Statistika: For game statistics push here