Lietkabelis take revenge, advance to Quarterfinals

PANEVEZYS – Despite a one-sided victory, the ending to the LietkabelisKalev/Cramo series couldn’t have been much more entertaining. Although the Estonians entered the game with a 14-point advantage from the first of two games, Lietkabelis managed to overcome the difference and took a 96-75 (20-15; 30-23; 20-18; 26-19) victory.

 

After winning the first game 78-64, Kalev/Cramo could feel quite safe before the return match. However, Lietkabelis proved very early on that they’re not yet ready to let their arms down. Five minutes in the initial period, it was a 15-7 lead for the Lithuanians.

The home side’s advantage expanded to double-digits right at the start of the second quarter, but Kalev/Cramo rushed back with a 9-0 run, cutting the gap to just six. Lietkabelis finished the quarter strong though, and the margin was back in double-digit territory.

While the gap dwindled down once again and only seven points separated the two opponents with a couple minutes remaining in the third frame, another draught helped Lietkabelis tie the combined score with a 70-56 lead.

The final quarter was simply a disaster for the Estonian club, as they broke down. Lietkabelis improved their lead to mid-twenties and it seemed there was not much left for the visitors to do.

There was still a 26-point spread was on the table with two minutes on the clock, but Kalev/Cramo managed to get some life back in the game with a couple of three-pointers, accompanied by active defense and trimmed the margin to 19, with a chance to dig in even further. Nevertheless, Lietkabelis survived and will now face the winners of the Siauliai – Parnu series.

Evaldas Zabas was the cornerstone of this victory, as he tallied 24 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists. Egidijus Dimsa was solid with 19 points and 13 rebounds, while Ivan Nelyubov and Mantas Kazonas chipped in with 16 apiece. Dainius Salenga was clumsy with the ball late in the game and accompanied his 10 points with 3 turnovers in the final minute alone.

Rain Veideman led the losing team with 19 points. Gregor Arbet was solid with 18 points, while Scott Machado lit up with 17 points and 13 assists. Frank Elegar added 13 points and 12 rebounds to the total.