Klaipėda, “Neptūnas” strained the nerves well of the players of Moscow Oblast, “Khimki”, trained by Rimas Kurtinaitis; however, at the end of the match they succumbed to their guests with a result of 80:81.
The players from Klaipėda jauntily started the match that took place in “Švyturio Arena“ and quickly took the lead - 10:6, 17:12. Even so, soon the guests felt the rhythm of the game and at the end of the first quarter evened the result - 19:19. During the second quarter there was a persistent fight and only just before the half time did “Khimki” advanced by 6 points - 35:29.
In the third quarter, after a successful long shot by Martynas Mažeika, the players of “Neptūnas” tipped the score in their favor - 46:44.
Up to the end of the fourth quarter with 3 minutes remaining, “Neptūnas“ was in the lead - 69:67; also, Mindaudas Girdžiūnas could have punished the guests with a three-point throw, but the ball spun out of the basket.
Nevertheless, the players of “Khimki” played the last minute of the match more accurately and thus celebrated the victory.
“Neptūnas” - "Khimki" - 80:81 (19:19, 10:16, 22:19, and 29:27).
“Neptūnas”: Donatas Zavackas - 22 (9 rebounds), Daniel Ewing and Simas Galdikas - 11 each, Mindaugas Girdžiūnas - 9 (4 assists), Martynas Mažeika - 8, Gilvydas Biruta - 8, Jerai Grant - 6, and Arvydas Šikšnius - 5 pts.
“Khimki”: Tyrese Rice - 26 pts (5 assists), Paul Davis - 23, Aleksas Švedas - 10, and James Augustine - 9 pts.
“Lietuvos rytas” defeated “Astana”
Besides “Neptūnas“ and “Khimki”, trained by Rimas Kurtinaitis, the champions of Kazakhstan, “Astana” and the Lithuanian vice-champion “Lietuvos rytas” are also competing in the tournament that is under the aegis of Vladas Garastas, an honorary president of Lithuanian Basketball Federation (LKF) and a local basketball legend.
The latter teams met with each other before the “Neptūnas“ vs “Khimki” match; the victory was celebrated by “Lietuvos rytas” with a result of 101:88 (21:13, 22:24, 36:23, and 22:28).
“Lietuvos rytas”: Rokas Giedraitis 18 (4/7 3-pointers), Kšištofas Lavrinovičius 15 (5/6 two-pointers), Artūras Gudaitis 13 (5/6 2-pointers), Mindaugas Lukauskis and Antanas Kavaliauskas - 12 each, Julius Jucikas - 9, Nicolas Laprovittola - 8 (7 assists), and Deividas Gailius - 7.
“Astana”: Nick Caner-Medley - 35 (11 rebounds, 45 performance index rating), Arvydas Eitutavičius - 18, and Pat Calathes - 10.
“Švyturio Arena“ has been organizing this tournament four years in a row now and each year they receive better feedback.
The favorite of the Vladas Garastas Cup tournament is the players of Rimas Kurtinaitis, the team Moscow Oblast, “Khimki”. The latter has lots of ambition in the upcoming Euroleague season; they are even talking about the semi-final matches. The players of Ramūnas Butautas, the champions of Kazakhstan, “Astana” in the upcoming season are going to compete in FIBA Europe Cup and the VTB United League tournament matches; the players of “Neptūnas” and “Lietuvos rytas” - Eurocup tournament and the Lithuanian Basketball League (LKL) championships.
This year the friendly basketball tournament will last until Sunday evening and each day there will be two games played. The tournament follows a “wheel” system, i.e. the teams form up by the points won in the tournament tablet. Not only will the first three teams be awarded, but also the best basketball player from each team.