After a third victory in the Euroleague match against the Vitoria "Laboral Kutxa" team with the score of 80:79, the head coach of Klaipeda Neptunas, Kazys Maksvytis, highlighted that this is a big step towards the TOP-16.
"We started very well and controlled the situation for nearly three quarters of the match, but at the end we slightly lost control and, perhaps, after three amateur turnovers, the opponents had some good chances to win. I am glad we weren't at a loss, played as a team, and that fortune was on our side. At one moment, when we were leading by 18 points, I thought that we would serve up some welcome revenge - we were going to win by a larger margin than by which we lost in Vitoria. Unfortunately, the opponents started playing aggressively and all my thoughts were dispersed very quickly. I think that this victory is a very large step towards the next stage", K. Maksvytis was rejoicing.
He couldn't say anything positive about the centre, Keith Benson, again.
"It is hard for a basketball player to step up from the bench and go deep into the game. However, I must really admit that my decision to let him enter the court was wrong. We are patient, we'll play the waiting game. Let's see, maybe he will find his stride at last," - the coach said.
After the match another Neptunas player, Donatas Zavackas, highlighted that his team played with fire tonight. But he was glad about the hard fought, but very necessary victory.
"We are really playing with fire too often. We lost a solid advantage, but a victory is a victory. The victory is always good, but we needed a larger margin for the full revenge. We could play better. On the other hand, the Vitoria team is a strong one. They are going to achieve a lot of victories in the Spanish League and the Euroleague. It's good we managed to overcome them tonight. If we want to enter the TOP-16 stage that everyone is are talking about, our destiny will be counted across the remaining matches", D. Zavackas said.
As the captain of Klaipeda Neptunas, Martynas Mazeika, put it, he and his team-mates felt that they could snatch a victory tonight before the match.
"Before the match, we felt that we would win, so it happened. You are asking what happened when we wasted the 18 point advantage? If you watched our games last year, you had to get used to the matches, when the score finalized during the last seconds. This is our playing style, we want the spectators to be thrilled", the Neptunas captain tried to joke about it.
After the match, the head coach of Laboral Kutxa, Ibon Navarro said that Neptunas was worthy of this victory tonight.
"I congratulate Neptunas on the victory. We had a plan for this match, carried out a lot of tasks, but there are some things in basketball, which you can't control. Though we were lagging behind with a great deficit, we managed to get back and had the chance to win. We had the ball at the end, but we missed the last two crucial shots, but this is basketball - it is as it is", - the coach of the Spanish team said.