«Lietuvos Rytas» Vilnius, Lithuania vs. «Kalev» Tallinn, Estonia
Kalev fall in Vilnius despite solid effort
In Week 14 of the regular season, Lithuanian Lietuvos Rytas pulled away from Estonian Kalev at home, 95-73. The visitors, to the surprise of many, played very well in the first half. In the third quarter, however, the Lithuanians fully neutralized their opponent in the third quarter and enjoyed a comfortable win.
Lietuvos Rytas, winners of two straight, approached this game in high spirits. This was an excellent opportunity for the Lithuanians to continue their winning ways. Kalev arrived in Vilnius, eager to put up a good fight… The Estonians are one step from last place and wins are of the utmost importance.
The game began with the Estonians in control. Their defense allowed them to have success, as they gave up only three points in the first five minutes of the game. Darius Maskoliunas had to call timeout. The break didn’t stop the Estonians; they maintained an advantage and won the first quarter, 16-11.
In the second period the game proved more wide open. Both teams began shooting from beyond the arc, the pace quickened, while on defense the opponents appeared more passive than they had at the beginning. Lietuvos Rytas began searching for an answer with Janis Blums. The home team’s guard knocked down three consecutive 3-pointers, but that wasn’t enough for the Lithuanians to take the lead. Kalev held on, 34-31, heading to the break.
Completely different teams emerged from the locker room. Kalev, who had scored so effortlessly in the second quarter, stopped going through the paint. The Lithuanians deserved the credit more than the visitors the blame. Lietuvos Rytas forced five turnovers in only three minutes, piling up 14 unanswered points in the process. Neither timeouts nor attempts at aggressive defense helped Kalev shift the momentum in the game. They trailed 66-52 prior to the final 10-minute period and had little hope of a close finish.
Neither team could provide any surprises to close the game. The Lithuanians finished their opponent off with 3-pointers and their lead grew to 20 points by the end. Lietuvos Rytas win, 95-73.
Star of the Game
Eimantas Bendzius. The young Lithuanian forward spent only 15 minutes on the court, but he carried out his responsibilities splendidly and earned the honor of player of the game. At the beginning of the second half, the 22 year old helped his team take a big lead. Bendzius scored 17 points and connected on five 3-pointers in only six attempts.
Stat of the Game
14 – number of Lietuvos Rytas 3-pointers. Once again, Darius Maskoliunas overwhelmed their opponent from beyond the arc, winning the game as a result.
Lietuvos Rytas: Janis Blums – 19 points; Nemanja Nedovic – 19 points; Eimantas Bendzius – 17 points; Deyan Ivanov – 12 points, nine rebounds; Renaldas Seibutis – 12 points.
Kalev: Gary Wilkinson – 19 points; Armands Skele – 16 points; Bamba Fall – 10 points, eight rebounds; Frank Elegar – 10 points.