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Photo by Sarunas DUZINAS Photo by Sarunas DUZINAS

The Neptunas' head coach, Kazys Maksvytis, didn't hide his regret after the Euroleague match lost to the Valencia Basket team with the score of 103:65, which prevented his team from reaching the Top 16 stage.

"We need to admit that the opponents were stronger tonight, we were slower in all areas. After the half-time break, we tried to change the defensive systems and reduce the deficit, but, unfortunately, we failed. We expect that this experience that we have accumulated in the Euroleague will help us in the EuroCup competition. You are asking whether it is not regretful that we haven't entered the Euroleague Top 16 stage? Certainly, it is, when all this was within arms' reach", he emphasized.

After being asked what he said to the players in the dressing room after the match, K. Maksvytis replied: "You will not say anything magical. In the dressing room, we just remembered the match against Piraeus Olympiakos in Klaipeda. We could have won at that time, but the opponents snatched overtime and regretfully we lost with the score of 81:85. If you turn back time now, you conceive that such matches would open the road to the Top 16 stage. However, after analysing our debut in the Euroleague, I think it was positive. We gained four victories. This is really not bad. We played against some tough teams. Our matches in the international arena are not over, our goal now is to play the best we can in the EuroCup matches. We know the teams we will play against, but there was no time to think of and analyse our opponents. We focused all our attention on the match against the Valencia Basket team", the Neptunas coach explained.


So, Neptunas says good-bye to the Euroleague, and they will continue their matches in the EuroCup competition after the New Year.

The Neptunites will play against the Istanbul Besiktas (Turkey), Paris Levallois (France) and Ismir Pinar Karsiyaka (Turkey) teams in group M in the Last 32 stage.

The start of the last 32 round is on 6 January, and the finish is on 11 February. The two best teams in each group will enter the last 8 stage.

We would like to remind you that Neptunas played solidly and exceeded many people's expectations in the most prestigious European basketball tournament - in the Euroleague: on 13 October they beat Valencia Basket (Spain) with the score of 94:87 at the Svyturys arena, the Neptunites triumphed three times at the Svyturys arena: they beat the previous two season's Serbian Cup winners, the Beograd Crvena Zvezda Telekom team with the score of 83:81 on 23 October, the Vitoria Laboral Kutxa team (Spain) with the score of 80:79 on 20 November, and the 11 time Turkish champions Istanbul Galatasaray, where the Lithuanian national basketball team member, Martynas Pocius, plays, with the score of 82:72 on 10 December.

The Lithuanian vice-champions, Neptunas from Klaipeda, were very close to the largest sensation in the Euroleague this season on 31 October - they were on the verge of defeating one of the most titled teams of the tournament - Piraeus Olympiakos. The Euroleague champions of 1997, 2012 and 2013 won against the basketball players from Neptunas only in overtime with the score of 85:81 (17:15, 21:15, 17:25, 21:21, 9:5).


The Neptunites were a whisker away from the Top-16 stage. The victory against Olympiakos, which slipped from their hands during the last seconds, would've guaranteed a ticket to the Top 16 stage. Anyway, we need to praise the players of Neptunas for their fighting spirit and really nice debut in the Euroleague.

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