2017-18Regular SeasonRound 17
January 12, 2018 CET: 19:00
Local time: 20:00 ZALGIRIO ARENA

Zalgiris downs Unicaja in nail-biter

In a game that went down to the wire, Edgaras Ulanovas came up with a last-second block of Ray McCallum and Zalgiris Kaunas prevailed 79-77 over the visiting Unicaja Malaga on Friday. The victory lifted Zalgiris to an 11-6 record and a share of fourth place, while Unicaja dropped to 7-10 in the standings. Unicaja led for most of the first half, but Zalgiris made a charge in the second and went in front, but could not put the game away. The visitors had the last possession, with a chance to either tie or go in front, but Ulanovas denied Ray McCollum at the rim to start celebrations in Zalgirio Arena. Kevin Pangos paced Zalgiris with 16 points, and Paulius Jankunas collected 14 points, 9 rebounds and 3 steals. Aaron White and Ulanovas each scored 11 points in victory, while Vasilije Micic dished 9 assists. Adam Waczynski netted 14 points for Unicaja. James Augustine added 12 points and 9 rebounds, Nemanja Nedovic scored 11 with 9 assists, and Daniel Diez added 10 points in defeat.

Pangos scored 6 of the first 8 Zalgiris points, but Carlos Suarez and Dragan Milosavljevic hit a triple apiece and Nedovic knocked down 2 from long distance to open a 6-13 margin for Unicaja. Jankunas had a pair of baskets for the hosts, and Arturas Milaknis hit a triple to tie it at 17-17. Diez scored a fastbreak layup to beat the first-quarter buzzer before Waczynski started the second with a four-point play and a runner. Diez added a fastbreak layup and a triple during a 0-11 run that gave Unicaja a 19-30 lead. Waczynski and Pangos traded triples, and Brandon Davies scored inside for Zalgiris to make it 30-35, but another three from Diez helped Unicaja go into halftime up 32-40.

With a pair of baskets from Micic, Zalgiris closed to within 38-42 early in the third, but Milosavljevic hit a three to give Unicaja some breathing room. The teams traded blows, with White and Antanas Kavaliauskas scoring on one end, while Nedovic and Augustine did so from close range on the other. Zalgiris did go in front before getting a basket from Jankunas at 52-51, although a pair of inside buckets from Georgi Shermadini made it 52-55 for Unicaja after 30 minutes. Waczynski nailed a triple to open the fourth quarter, but Pangos had a jumper and a three-pointer in a 7-0 run that put Zalgiris back in front, 59-58. Ulanovas hit for three and Jankunas dunked on the break as Zalgiris surged ahead 66-61. Alberto Diaz had a three-pointer and Augustine hit a baseline jumper for the visitors, but Zalgiris kept the lead through White and Jankunas. When Milaknis hit a three against Unicaja's zone defense, the Zalgiris margin reached 75-68. Unicaja did not go away, however, as Suarez answered with a three-pointer, before Augustine and Waczynski scored quick baskets that closed the gap to a single possession. Unicaja had the final 13 seconds to win or send the game to overtime, but Ulanovas blocked McCallum at the rim to secure a Zalgiris victory.

Kevin Pangos - Zalgiris Kaunas - EB17
Friday, January 12, 2018
Euroleague.net
Referees: PUKL,SASA (SLO), LOTTERMOSER, ROBERT (GER), FOUFIS, IOANNIS (GRE)
Attendance: 15392
By Quarter1234
Zalgiris Kaunas17152027
Unicaja Malaga19211522
End of Quarter1234
Zalgiris Kaunas17325279
Unicaja Malaga19405577
Zalgiris Kaunas
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
0 DAVIES, BRANDON 17:16 4 2/3     2 4 6 1         1 1 10
3 PANGOS, KEVIN 26:08 16 5/9 2/4     4 4 4 2 2   1 5 2 14
6 TOUPANE, AXEL 5:37 2 1/2 0/2             1 1   1 1 -1
9 UDRIH, BENO 9:35 6 1/2 0/1 4/4       2   1       2 7
13 JANKUNAS, PAULIUS 30:59 14 6/11   2/2 3 6 9 2 3 1     1 1 22
19 SAJUS, MARTYNAS DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
21 MILAKNIS, ARTURAS 27:45 8 1/1 2/7     1 1 1   1 1   4   1
22 MICIC, VASILIJE 23:52 3 1/3   1/2       9 1 1     3 3 9
30 WHITE, AARON 25:03 11 4/7 0/2 3/4 1 5 6     2   3 2 3 7
44 KAVALIAUSKAS, ANTANAS 6:20 4 1/2   2/2 3   3   1 1     2 2 6
66 VALINSKAS, PAULIUS DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
92 ULANOVAS, EDGARAS 27:25 11 4/5 1/1 0/1 1 1 2     1 1   1 1 11
Team           3 2 5               5
Totals 200:00 79 26/45 5/17 12/15 13 23 36 19 7 11 3 4 20 16 91
        57.8% 29.4% 80%
Head coach: JASIKEVICIUS, SARUNAS
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
Unicaja Malaga
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
2 OKOUO, VINY DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
3 MCCALLUM, RAY 18:31 5 0/5 0/1 5/6 1 3 4 2   1 1 2 2 3 3
6 SOLUADE, MO DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
9 DIAZ, ALBERTO 21:29 3 0/1 1/3         2 1       5 1 -1
10 SALIN, SASU 11:14     0/2   1 2 3 2   1     1 2 3
11 DIEZ, DANIEL 12:12 10 2/2 2/4                   1   7
12 MILOSAVLJEVIC, DRAGAN 13:56 8 1/3 2/4   2 2 4 1   1   1   3 10
16 NEDOVIC, NEMANJA 28:46 11 1/4 2/5 3/4       9 1 3     1 4 14
17 SHERMADINI, GIORGI 17:23 8 3/6   2/2 1 2 3 2 1 1 2     3 15
21 WACZYNSKI, ADAM 18:15 14 2/4 3/5 1/1   1 1 1   1     2 2 11
40 AUGUSTINE, JAMES 29:02 12 6/7     2 7 9 1 2 2 1   2 1 21
43 SUAREZ, CARLOS 29:12 6 0/1 2/4   1 2 3 6   2     3   7
Team           2 2 4               4
Totals 200:00 77 15/33 12/28 11/13 10 21 31 26 5 12 4 3 17 19 94
        45.5% 42.9% 84.6%
Head coach: PLAZA, JOAN

Head Coaches

JASIKEVICIUS, SARUNAS
Zalgiris Kaunas

"Congratulations to the fans and players to this great great win. It is important to get on the winning track after a loss in Belgrade last week. And even more importantly, to get a win when you are not playing great."

“I feel great because it is victory, whether it is a nervous or a not nervous victory. But I want to thank the fans, I think they gave us the energy tonight. Without them, this win would not have been possible. If we played away we would have lost by double digits. We were not that good tonight. I don’t want to tell the public what I told the players at halftime. Fewer speeches like that would be better for us in that locker room, and it is a great locker room… We need to understand that teams are coming after us. If we don’t understand it, we are going to suffer a lot in the second half of the regular season. Teams see as somebody they can catch. If we are not ready for that, we are going to have many problems.”

PLAZA, JOAN
Unicaja Malaga
“First, I give all my thanks to the crowd and everybody in Zalgiris organization for the beginning of the game. I feel proud that I worked here a long time ago, and I wish Zalgiris the best for the rest of my life. About the game, I think we put in a lot of energy. We competed pretty well. Like always, we never gave up. Even when everything was impossible, when we were 7 points down in second-to-last minute, we never gave up and kept competing and at the end we had a chance to score the last shot to win or tie the game. I am proud of my players that they don’t surrender, don’t give up and they fight until the end. Each team won two quarters, we won the first two, they won the last two. Zalgiris increased its aggressiveness with their hands on defense in the second half, which is quite logical for them, and we suffered because they sent us nine or 10 meters away from the basket. On the other hand, we need to be tougher and accept that on our offense, refs will not call every single foul. If they would, some teams would finish games with three players. So we need to accept it and not cry about it. We had a better index rating than Zalgiris but we lost, which means that sometimes rating means nothing. We need to be able to keep competing, we changed totally our face in the last month and a half, and we are competing everywhere and against anybody. Probably things will change in our favor, and I am happy how we are playing. Not many teams win here in Kaunas, and I am proud we competed until the last second. Jeff Brooks was our best player in the first game against Zalgiris, and it was a problem he did not play, but other players stepped up.”

Players

JANKUNAS, PAULIUS
Zalgiris Kaunas
“Our defense was the key. Because we started to play better defense in the second part of the game, it helped us to win. You don’t want to know what coach said to us at halftime. It was a good feeling to be December MVP, but it is in the past. Even last year. We are looking forward, we want to play better and win as many games as we can.”
WACZYNSKI, ADAM
Unicaja Malaga
"It's the second game against Zalgiris that we lost by two points. So it's a really tough loss for us. We were chasing them at the end, but most of the game we played really, really well. We just missed the last couple of minutes and yeah, we took a tough loss."