Defeating the Istanbul Galatasaray team by a double digit advantage with the score 82:72, Neptunas, from Klaipeda, approached the historic opportunity of entering the next Euroleague Top 16 stage. After a very important victory, the basketball players from Neptunas rejoiced in the dressing room and made jokes about gaining four victories in the most prestigious European basketball tournament - the Euroleague.
"When we have so many fans and there are so many of them, in this case, we would win a football match against any good football team," the captain of the Neptunas team, Martynas Mazeika, rejoiced. "Our fans are fantastic, they resonated plenty of energy and motivation."
Over 5,500 basketball fans watched this Neptunas match at the Svyturys arena. A few hours before the match, all tickets were sold out, so the administration of the Neptunas club explored the possibility of inserting additional seats.
The captain of the Neptunas team said that it was a pleasure to play in such an environment, but he added that they would like to gain at least one victory on the road.
"We haven't fulfilled the coach's stated goal to win all the Euroleague matches, so we will have to win the last match of the group on the road. The appetite comes, when you are hungry. Now we are continuing to play in the Euroleague, and we are pleased about it. We have a few free days, but we are not going to take any rest, we are going to get ready for the next match in Spain. We're working with all our hearts, playing a team basketball game and perhaps because of it, fortune smiles on us," M. Mazeika said.
As one of the leaders from Neptunas, Deividas Gailius, put it, we shouldn't count our opponents' losses, we should try to win and secure a ticket into the Top 16 stage.
"We are not going to sit and wait for the results of the other matches, whether they will be favorable to us or not. Everything is in our hands. We need to gain a victory on the road in Valencia and everything will be just fine," D. Gailius said decisively.
"We played energetically from start to finish, so we have such an outcome. Nobody had to inspire us for this match, we knew its importance. And we are very happy," D. Gailius added.
As the Neptunas head coach, Kazys Maksvytis, put it, nobody had to add any inspiration to the team, there were a lot of emotions - it was overflowing round the edges.
"It is better, when you need to calm the team down than to try and wake it up. We handled the tension and gained a good victory in the eyes of our spectators, in an electric environment," M. Maksvytis rejoiced.
The Galatasaray head coach, Ergin Ataman, could hardly put any words together, but he highlighted that Neptunas played a very tough game at home.
"The hosts of the court had more energy, they managed to stop our main basketball players. Their motivation to win was significant, while we lacked it, and we didn't manage to cope with the tension," - E. Ataman said.