In an instant classic game, Lietuvos Rytas beat KK Zagreb, 94-93, on Wednesday at the Torneo Citta di Roma to finish third in the tournament. Rytas only lost one game in the three day event, its second match against Fenerbahce Ulker, also a thrilling affair, and notched its win despite being down by as much as 14 in the fourth quarter. Mantas Mockevicius and Mindaugas Kacinas led Rytas with 17 points each, with the first also corralling 7 rebounds, while Tomas Lekunas had 14 points and Arturas Gudaitis added 11 and 7 rebounds. But it was Paulius Naraskevicius supplying the late heroics with a triple, while Paulius Semaska also contributed with 10 points. Dario Saric led KK Zagreb, who finishes fourth in the tournament, with a monster game that included 34 points and 15 rebounds, while Dominik Marva scored 27 and Andrija Hrkac added 12. Zabreb dominated the boards in the first half with a 15-22 rebounding advantage and used a 10-21 run in the second quarter to surpass Rytas, 32-41, entering the break ahead at 39-45. They kept their foot down in the third quarter, as they cruised to a 22-30 differential thanks to 13 points by Marva, setting themselves up for a supposed mellow fourth quarter, ahead by 61-75. Rytas gave a final push in the deciding period, building a 22-11 run that put them within 3 points with one minute to go. Milekic split a pair of free throws in the waning seconds and Semaska scored on a layup to make it 85-87 before Marva hit twice from the line and Naraskevicius got the difference to within 88-89 with a triple. It seemed Rytas would lack time to confirm the comeback, especially after Marva scored from beyond the arc, but Olisevicius drove for a layup and Kacinas tied it from the line before Marva missed one of his free throws to leave the door open at 92-93. With time winding down, Olisevicius opened it wide with another layup for the 94-93 final score and a thrilling comeback win for Rytas, as Marva was unable to convert on a desperation jumper at the end.
Wednesday, December 29, 2010