Juventus stand tall in Moscow

Photo: Anna Astahova

MOSCOW - Tuesday action in the Baltic Basketball League kicked off with a thrilling match-up in Moscow, where Juventus got the best of the hosts Dynamo Moscow 74-70 (22-23; 20-11; 14-24; 18-12) in the Group C clash.

 

The victory allowed Juventus to leap into pole position with three victories and no losses. Dynamo, on the other hand, are still empty with a 0-3 record.

While Juventus started the game off on a higher note, jumping ahead by eight points midway through the first quarter, the Russian side arranged a 12-0 run that allowed them to finish the first ten minutes with a one-point lead.

The two sides combined for only 10 points in the first five minutes of the second quarter, before the basket opened up for the visiting side. They needed merely two minutes to put up a 9-0 run and pulled ahead by eight. The scoreboard displayed a 42-34 lead for the Lithuanians entering halftime.

Dynamo came out of the half, firing with all cylinders and in no time the deficit was wiped away. For the remainder of the quarter, the two teams kept going back and forth but neither of them could pull away.

Not much changed in the fourth quarter, as the two sides were still separated by just one point going into the final minute. Vaidas Cepukaitis tapped the ball in after a miss by Simas Buterlevicius and extended Juventus’ lead to three.

Dynamo missed the game-tying opportunity, but Rashaun Broadus was unsuccessful on both of his free-throw attempts and kept the hope alive for the Russians. Buterlevicius responded to Dynamo’s single free-throw conversion with two of his own and the hosts just ran out of time to change the course of the game.

Simas Buterlevicius was the top-scorer for Juventus with 18 points. Rashaun Broadus added 13 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists, but committed 5 turnovers. Saulius Kulvietis and Arvydas Siksnius were also in double-digits in scoring, as they tallied respectively 11 and 10 points. Vaidas Cepukaitis ended the game with 8 points and 9 rebounds to his name.

Denis Zakharov was the go-to guy for the Russian team, as he scored 22 points. Evgeny Karpeko contributed 12, while Alimdzan Fediushin had 11. Vladislav Trushkin finished with 8 points and 10 rebounds.

"Our guys came out fired up today, they were definitely ready to fight, but we missed out on a couple strokes of luck, we didn't have enough patience defensively. In general, I can't say I'm happy with how the game turned out, but we kept the game close and were in it until the final moments. There were a couple of bad mistakes in the final minutes of the game that drove us away from the victory. As for our opponents, I was expecting them to play well-organized basketball – no panic, no relaxation and a good execution.They played really well today and were focused on both sides of the court."