«Zalgiris» Kaunas, Lithuania vs. «Tsmoki-Minsk» Minsk, Belarus
Zalgiris in pursuit of CSKA
In Week 8 of the regular season, Lithuanian Zalgiris blew by Belorussian Tsmoki-Minsk, 81-57. The hosts seized the initiative from the start, and despite their opponent’s resistance, rolled to victory.
Zalgiris came in as unquestioned favorites and they went on the offensive immediately. The Belorussian champions appeared in trouble early as they trailed 23-10 after the first quarter. Joan Plaza’s club looked ready to put the Minsk collective out of its misery already in the second period. The Belorussians felt differently, however, grabbing the momentum and cutting the deficit to eight at halftime, 39-31.
The Lithuanians didn’t expect such resistance from Tsmoki-Minsk. In the third quarter, the Lithuanian champions began to play in earnest, but the Belorussians still did not cave, though a 14-point deficit with one period to play left Andrey Krivonos’s men with little more than a hypothetical chance at a comeback. Zalgiris’s 11-1 run to open the fourth quarter erased any doubts – 81-57 the final score. The club from Kaunas wins its 6th game of the season and continues to chase after CSKA.
Star of the Game
Oliver Lafayette. Together with Ksistof Lavrinovic, the American guard led all players in scoring. He didn’t forget to pass the ball, either, recording a game-high 5 assists. Oliver takes home the player of the game award for that performance.
Stat of the Game
23-11. Zalgiris eclipsed their opponent considerably in the assists department. Just one more reminder that the Lithuanian power is currently running much more smoothly as a team than its Belorussian counterpart.
Zalgiris: Oliver Lafayette – 12 points, 5 assists.
Tsmoki-Minsk: Ater Majok – 5 points, 7 rebounds.