Siauliai rally behind Birutis for win in Rapla

Photo: Siim Solman

RAPLA - A packed arena of Rapla fans had the chance to witness a great match-up between their home town AVIS Utilitas Rapla and visiting Siauliai, as the guest managed to come out on top 73-83.

 

The Sadolin Sports Hall was packed more than usual, as the home side Rapla handed out free tickets to first to third grade students, so they could surprise their parents for Father's day. An act of kindness that is sure to win over some young hearts of basketball fans and motivate the players all at once.

However, despite the support of nearly 700 fans, Rapla didn't manage to earn a lead in this game, as the visiting Siauliai led end to end after starting the game with an 8-0 run.

However, the game never lost it's excitement, as AVIS Utilitas Rapla kept on breathing down the Lithuanians' backs. They were down by four after the first quarter, and while the margin doubled before the end of the first half, the deficit never got out of hand.

At the start of the final quarter, the Estonians had managed to cut the deficit back to just 4 points, but a final spurt put Siauliai in a safe spot.

Laurynas Birutis was by far the top player in the game, as the 20-year-old dominated inside the paint and tallied 22 points, 9 rebounds and 3 blocks for a total of 32 ranking points. Omar Prewitt and Evaldas Saulys chipped in with 15 apiece, while Donatas Sabeckis finished the game with 11 points and 8 assists. Vytautas Sarakauskas filled up the stat-sheet with 10 points and 8 rebounds in under 20 minutes.

Sven Kaldre had a team-high 16 points, as Jaren Sina added 15. Indrek  Kajupank was also in double-digits, as he ended the game with 11 points, while Nolan Cressler had a solid all-around performance, accounting for 10 points, 6 rebounds and 8 assists.