Lietuvos Rytas registered its first win in Last 16 Group L by edging previously undefeated iurbentia Bilbao Basket 75-73 in front of 7,500 fans in Vilnius, Lithuania on Tuesday. Both teams tie at 1-1 in Group L, as Bilbao saw its seven-game winning streak come to an end since L. Rytas handed the Spanish side its first-ever loss in European club competitions. Chuck Eidson led the winners with 19 points. Arturas Jomantas added 12 while Marijonas Petravivius had 10, including the game-winning layup with 5.1 seconds to go, for L. Rytas. Marko Banic led Bilbao with 18 points while Javi Salgado and Luke Recker each added 11 for the guests. An outstanding Eidson led a 14-0 run that gave L. Rytas a 39-33 lead at halftime. Jomantas gave L. Rytas its biggest lead, 43-33, right after the break. Recker brought Bilbao back to life with consecutive triples while a three-point play by Renaldas Seibutis complete the guests' comeback, 48-49, late in the third quarter. The game saw as many as 7 lead changes until Mindaugas Lukauskis followed a triple with a huge four-point play for a 71-68 L. Rytas edge with under 3 minutes to go. It all came down to the final minute, as Salgado made a free throw for a 71-71 tie with 14.4 seconds to go. Petravicius scored in the other end while Salgado missed a four-meter running jumper at the buzzer.
Both teams went scoreless for more than 2 minutes until Banic stepped up with a layup. Jomantas immediately scored in the other end but a jump hook by Drago Pasalic put Bilbao back ahead, 2-4. Quincy Lewis nailed a five-meter jumper but L. Rytas has started to dominate the boards. Eidson tied the game with a three-pointer but Janis Blums sank free throws for a 6-8 Bilbao edge. Jomantas beat the guests' zone defense with a corner triple but Blums and Salva Guardia answered from downtown to restore a 9-14 Bilbao lead. Eidson hit a jumper that Banic matched with free throws. Milko Bjelica shined with a put-back layup while Justinas Sinica buried a corner triple for a 16-16 tie. Banic scored in the low post but a three-pointer by Jomantas put L. Rytas back ahead, 19-18. A basket-and-foul by Guardia gave Bilbao a 19-21 edge after 10 minutes. Seibutis buried a triple early in the second quarter but Steponas Babrauskas answered from downtown off a L. Rytas timeout. Petravicius scored down low for a 24-24 tie. Salgado hit a baseline jumper while Banic added a layup. Recker soon added a corner triple to give Bilbao some fresh air at 25-31. L. Rytas improved its defense right away, as Bilbao went scoreless for more than 3 minutes. Evaldas Dainys, Jomantas and Eidson fueled a 14-0 run that gave the hosts a 39-31 margin. A layup by Banic brought Bilbao within 39-33 at halftime.
Donatas Zavackas shined with a fast break layup right after the break while a driving basket by Jomantas made it a double-digit game, 43-33. Paco Vazquez took over with a power layup while Salgado sank a huge triple to give Bilbao some hope, 44-38. Bjelica got the crowd involved with a wild dunk but Recker struck from downtown off a Bilbao timeout. Eidson answered with an acrobatic layup. Recker buried another triple, igniting a 0-8 run that Seibutis capped with a layup-plus-foul to complete the guests' comeback, 48-49. Salgado made free throws, Recker sank a six-meter jumper while Banic beat the buzzer with a layup for a 52-55 Bilbao edge after 30 minutes. Zavackas sank a triple early in the fourth quarter while Eidson also joined the three-point shootout. Salgado answered from downtown but Bjelica provided another lead change, 61-60. Pasalic sank a long jumper that Lewis followed with a backdoor layup for a 61-64 Bilbao edge. Zavackas fired in a three-pointer but Seibutis kept Bilbao ahead, 64-66, with 4 minutes to go. Lukauskis sank a triple and soon added an outstanding four-point play for a 71-68 Bilbao edge. Banic shined with a fast break layup but he missed around the basket with 42 seconds to go. Eidson missed in the other end, too, and L. Rytas immediately fouled on Salgado, who made 1-for-2 free throws for a 71-71 tie. Petravicius stepped up with a power layup with 5.1 seconds to go. He missed the free throw that came with it and even when Salgado raced downcourt, he could not hit a running jumper at the buzzer.
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
Gintaras Radauskas, Vilnius