«Tsmoki-Minsk» Minsk, Belarus vs. «Zalgiris» Kaunas, Lithuania
In Week 17 of the regular season, Tsmoki-Minsk (Belarus) shocked Zalgiris (Lithuania) at home, 86-82. The home team had the momentum the entire game and managed to finish off their opponent for an upset win, improving their chances of avoiding last place in the group.
When a team’s fighting for survival, every game is crucial whether they’re playing with the best team in the league or not. That’s what took place today. Despite the skepticism of many, Tsmoki (Belarus) knocked off one of the best teams in Europe and the top team in the League, Zalgiris (Lithuania).
Andrei Krivonos’s team came out determined to show who was in control and took the initiative. Their back court of Aliaksandr Kudrautsau and Tierre Brown clicked early as the Belarussians rushed out to a 24-17 lead through one period.
Zalgiris’s shooters showed up in the second quarter. Lavrinovic, Juskevicius and Delas combined for three consecutive 3-poniters and crept to within one possession. Tsmoki paid little attention, responding with a 7-0 run and 39-34 advantage at halftime.
The Belarussian club came out just as confident after the break. Kudrautsau and Korshuk got into the paint hoping to collect easy points, while Ulyanko and Pustahvar helped out from the perimeter. As a result, no matter what the Lithuanians did to reduce the lead, no matter how many 3-pointers they attempted, nothing helped. Zalgiris headed into the final period, trailing 63-56.
Minsk Arena cheered their team on at full voice and the players were infected by the fans’ emotions. They maintained a one-possession lead for about half of the period; however, with four minutes left Zalgiris took their first lead. The Lithuanian fans didn’t celebrate for long. A crossfire ended in a Dzianis Korshuk field goal, who was left open on the arc with 27 seconds to play. That put Tsmoki on top by five points. The nerve-wracking free throw contest in the end went to the home team. Tsmoki (Belarus) secure a shocking win, 86-82, their second of the season, which gives them a chance to avoid last place in the group at the end of the season.
Star of the Game
Dzianis Korshuk. The Belarussian guard didn’t look great for most of the game, but his field goals helped Tsmoki hold on for a win. With 27 seconds left, Korshuk converted a 3-pointer, and 20 seconds later his free throws established the final score in the game, 86-82.
Stat of the Game
11 – Zalgiris’s 11-game winning streak ended in surprising fashion. If the Lithuanian champions had won today, they would have tied CSKA’s 12-game winning streak from last season.
Tsmoki-Minsk: Aliaksandr Kudrautsau – 16 points, six assists; Tierre Brown – 16 points; Dzianis Korshuk – 15 points; Aliaksandr Pustahvar – 11 points, five rebounds; Pavel Ulyanko – 11 points; Aliaksei Lashkevich – six points, seven rebounds.
Zalgiris: Tremmell Darden – 14 points, six rebounds; Vytenis Lipkevicius – 13 points; Darjus Lavrinovic – 11 points, five rebounds; Rimantas Kaukenas – 10 points; Oliver Lafayette – five points, six rebounds.
Picture of the Game