2008-09Regular SeasonRound 4
December 16, 2008 CET: 18:00
Local time: 19:00 SIEMENS ARENA
Branko Milisavljevic - Lietuvos RytasLietuvos Rytas took a major step forwards to reach the Last 16 in regular season Group E by downing Azovmash Mariupol 83-64 in Vilnius, Lithuania on Tuesday. Both teams tie in Group E with a 2-2 record but L. Rytas left the court with the tie-break advantage if both teams remain tied at the end of this round, as Azovmash registered a 10-point win against the Lithuanian powerhouse last week. Branko Milisavljevic paced the winners with 24 points and 6 assists. Chuck Eidson posted a double-double of 14 points and 10 rebounds, Milko Bjelica had 13 points, Steponas Babrauskas added 12, Marijonas Petravicius got 11 while Donatas Zavackas pulled down 12 boards for L. Rytas. Khalid El-Amin and Simonas Serapinas each had 12 points for Azovmash while Marc Salyers added 10. El-Amin helped Azovmash to get an early 11-17 lead, but a game-breaking 25-5 run in which Milisavljevic, Bjelica and Babrauskas each struck twice from downtown allowed L. Rytas to break the game open, 51-28, at halftime. Nothing changed after the break, as L. Rytas kept a safe margin and cruised to a well-deserved, crucial win.

El-Amin got Azovmash going with a layup but Petravicius soon answered with a three-point play while Milisavljevic added a fast break layup for a 5-2 L. Rytas lead. Tomas Van den Spiegel dunked it while back-to-back baskets by Serhiy Lishchuk and Uche Nsonwu tied it at 8-8. El-Amin and a power layup by Serapinas put the guests back ahead, 9-14. El-Amin kept pacing Azovmash but a 6-0 L. Rytas run that Babrauskas capped with free throws tied it at 17-17. Babrauskas struck from downtown while Eidson dunked it for a 22-19 L. Rytas edge after 10 minutes. Milisavljevic buried a triple early in the second quarter and even when Dijon Thompson answered from downtown, he insisted with another one from beyond the arc. Mindaugas Lukauskis and Bjelica joined the three-point shootout for a 36-22 L. Rytas margin, after a 25-5 run. Serapinas stepped up with free throws but Babrauskas and Bjelica struck from downtown in a 9-0 run that broke the game open, 45-26. Milisavljevic followed a jumper with a triple to make it a 23-point game, 51-28, at halftime.

Van den Spiegel tried to ignit the guests' comeback with a put-back layup right after the break but Milisavljevic and Petravicius answered to keep L. Rytas way ahead, 56-30. Azovmash tried to get Van den Spiegel involved while a layup by Serapinas and a triple by Thompson got the guests within 56-39. Eidson stepped up with a layup and fed Donatas Zavackas for an easy basket, as L. Rytas improved its defense late in the third quarter. Bjelica followed a three-pointer with a put-back dunk with Eidson allowed the hosts to seal the outcome, 69-47, after 30 minutes. Azovmash now fought for points differential, a critical issue in such a balanced Eurocup regular season group. El-Amin sank a triple, igniting a 0-7 run that Van den Spiegel capped with a put-back layup for a 71-54 deficit. L. Rytas did not panic, as Milisavljevic and Bjelica stepped up for a 75-56 margin. Salyers kept trying to change things for Azovmash but he didn't find much help around. Meanwhile, Milisavljevic and Eidson made sure to keep L. Rytas way ahead until the final buzzer.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Eurocupbasketball.com
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Referees: CMIKIEWICZ, MAREK; OBRADOVIC, PETAR; RUTESIC, ZDRAVKO
Attendance: 5000
By Quarter1234
Lietuvos Rytas22291814
Azovmash Mariupol1991917
End of Quarter1234
Lietuvos Rytas22516983
Azovmash Mariupol19284764
Lietuvos Rytas
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
5 BABRAUSKAS, STEPONAS 15:24 12 2/3 2/2 2/2 1   1           3 2 11
8 LUKAUSKIS, MINDAUGAS 27:44 7 1/3 1/4 2/2   1 1 2   5     2 1 -1
9 PREKEVICIUS, MARIUS DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
11 BJELICA, MILKO 31:29 13 2/3 3/3   1 2 3   1       5 2 13
12 ANISIMOV, MICHAILIS DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
13 EIDSON, CHUCK 36:08 14 5/8 0/3 4/6 1 9 10 4 5 1 4   1 5 32
14 ZAVACKAS, DONATAS 23:47 2 1/3 0/2   4 8 12 1         4   7
15 PETRAVICIUS, MARIUS 24:44 11 4/9   3/5 1 6 7 1 1 2   4 4 4 7
21 JOMANTAS, ARTURAS DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
22 SINICA, JUSTAS 2:41   0/1                   1 1   -3
31 GECEVICIUS, MARTYNAS 2:46     0/2             1         -3
33 MILISAVLJEVIC, BRANKO 35:17 24 6/7 4/6         6   5     4 4 22
Team             1 1               1
Totals 200:00 83 21/37 10/22 11/15 8 27 35 14 7 14 4 5 24 18 86
        56.8% 45.5% 73.3%
Head coach: KURTINAITIS, RIMAS
Min: Minutes played; Pts: Points; 2FG M-A: 2-point Field Goals (Made-Attempted); 3FG M-A: 3-point Field Goals (Made-Attempted); FT M-A: Free Throws (Made-Attempted); Rebounds: O (Offensive), D (Defensive), T (Total); As: Assists; St: Steals; To: Turnovers; Bl: Blocks (Fv: In Favor / Ag: Against); Fouls: Cm (Commited), Rv (Received); PIR: Performance Index Rating
Azovmash Mariupol
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
5 JARUTIS, ROLANDAS 22:48 4 2/2 0/1   1   1     2     2    
7 SERAPINAS, SIMONAS 26:13 12 4/5 0/3 4/5 1   1 1   1 1   1 4 12
8 SKUTYELNIK, OLEKSANDR 9:06 2 0/1 0/1 2/2 1   1 1   2   2 1 2 -1
11 BAIDA, BOGDAN DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
12 LISHCHUK, SERHIY 17:59 2 1/5   0/4   4 4   1 1 3   3 3 1
14 VAN DEN SPIEGEL, TOMAS 13:17 8 4/7     3 2 5     3 1 1 3 3 7
22 SALYERS, MARC 24:40 10 4/6 0/2 2/2   1 1     1     1 4 9
23 THOMPSON, DIJON 34:33 8 1/6 2/4     7 7 3   3   1 2   5
42 EL-AMIN, KHALID 29:35 12 3/6 1/3 3/4   2 2   1 2     3 5 9
50 NSONWU, UCHE 21:49 6 3/4   0/1 1 3 4 2 1 1     2 3 11
Team             2 2               2
Totals 200:00 64 22/42 3/14 11/18 7 21 28 7 3 16 5 4 18 24 55
        52.4% 21.4% 61.1%
Head coach: GIRSKIS, RIMAS

Head Coaches

KURTINAITIS, RIMAS
Lietuvos Rytas
"I am glad we've won. I am satisfied with our defense. We almost neutralized El-Amin. My players worked hard. I would like to emphasize Chuck Eidson's very hard work on defense, where he gave out all his efforts. Lukauskis and Babrauskas had a good game too, but I promote team-oriented basketball and individual performance is not so important. The most important thing is that we reduced number of mistakes and played better on the boards."
GIRSKIS, RIMAS
Azovmash Mariupol
"Lietuvos Rytas tried harder and deserved this victory. My big players got into foul trouble in five minutes. The hosts played hard on defense and that paid off with more rebounds and more opportunities on offense. We let them feel their shooting touch and they didn't miss in the most important moments. We couldn't stop their threes and couldn't grab the rebounds. My players tried to win the game playing individually, but basketball is team game."
"I have only been working one month with the team and that is not a lot of time. We have also had to fly long trips lately, and then of course there are the games. We faced a hard game tonight againt Lietuvos Rytas. They needed the win and had some good shooting percentages. We were also anxious to get this win tonight and that is not always going to help you."

Players

MILISAVLJEVIC, BRANKO
Lietuvos Rytas
"We played great defense and showed character and team spirit, especially on defense. We won the game by 20 points and that was the goal before the match. We changed our approach and attitude on defense. We analyzed the previous game against Azovmas and I think we managed to avoid the mistakes we did in that game."
SERAPINAS, SIMONAS
Azovmash Mariupol
"It was a very bad game for us. We were awful on defense while on offense we played individually. We were egotistic and didn't play team-oriented basketball. Lietuvos Rytas ran a very aggressive defense, stole many balls and grabbed a lot of rebounds. I think they wanted to win more than we did. Our team cannot find its rhythm for the second road game in a row. Maybe we have some psychological issues that we have to solve."
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