2011-12FinalsGame 1
April 14, 2012 CET: 13:30

Valencia became the first team to advance to the Eurocup final by downing Lietuvos Rytas 80-70

Valencia Basket has reached the Eurocup title game! Valencia became the first team to advance to the Eurocup final by downing Lietuvos Rytas 80-70 in the first semifinal in Khimki, Russia on Saturday. Valencia kept the chance to become the first team to get a third Eurocup title after winning the competition in 2003 and 2010. Meanwhile, L. Rytas lost the chance to get to the Eurocup final for the fourth time in club history. Brad Newley and Nik Caner-Medley led the winners with 12 points. Vitor Faverani, Victor Claver and Nando De Colo each added 10 for Valencia. Steponas Babrauskas led L. Rytas with 21 points - his new Eurocup career-high. Ronnie Seibutis added 15 and Lawrence Roberts beat a Eurocup semifinals record with 6 blocks. Rafa Martinez, Claver and Caner-Medley shined early to make Valencia get a 17-7 lead. An outstanding Faverani helped his team to get a 14-point margin, 29-15, after 10 minutes. A dunk by Florent Pietrus made it a 16-point game, 39-23, but Roberts and Babrauskas made L. Rytas get within 42-32 at halftime. Newley took over after the break to boost Valencia's lead to 58-38 late in the third quarter. Seibutis and an incredible Babrauskas managed to bring L. Rytas within 69-63 but De Colo stepped up in crunch time to keep Valencia out of trouble until the final buzzer.

Martinez needed just 8 seconds to get Valencia going with a three-pointer, as L. Rytas tried to get Jonas Valanciunas involved down low early in the game. Valanciunas hit free throws but a red hot Martinez answered from downtown for a 6-2 Valencia lead. L. Rytas kept playing aggressive, forcing Valencia into the foul bonus really early in the first quarter. Aleksandar Rasic found space for an uncontested basket that Faverani erased with a layup. Mindaugas Katelynas split free throws but Claver scored in the low post to keep his team way ahead, 10-5. Katelynas kept pacing L. Rytas with a dunk that Caner-Medley bettered with a triple. L. Rytas also entered the foul bonus and free throws by Claver and Caner-Medley made it a double-digit game, 17-7. Tyrese Rice hit foul shots and Roberts followed a layup with a two-handed dunk to make Valencia call timeout at 20-13. Newley stepped up with a layup-plus-foul and Pietrus matched Katelynas' power basket with free throws. A fast break basket by Caner-Medley and a long jumper by Faverani boosted Valencia's lead to 29-15 after 10 minutes.

Rice tried to change things with a floating layup early in the second quarter but Faverani quickly answered with a smooth jump hook. L. Rytas tried to use shorter possessions to speed up the game tempo but Valencia kept locking its defensive board. Rice scored in transition and soon added a driving layup but Pietrus and Newley answered with back-to-back three-pointers that made it a 16-point game, 37-21. Predrag Samardziski made free throws but Pietrus found space for an uncontested dunk. Babrauskas and Rice split foul shots, as L. Rytas improved its defense midway through the second quarter. Babrauskas shined with a backdoor layup, as Rice briefly the game with a small knee problem. Valencia had been scoreless for more than 3 minutes and a mid-range jumper by Rasic gave L. Rytas some hope at 39-29. Claver and Babrauskas traded free throws and Seibutis brought L. Rytas within single digits, 40-32, after an 1-9 run. A driving layup by Stefan Markovic gave Valencia some fresh air, 42-32, at halftime.

Valenciunas picked up his fourth immediately after the break, forcing L. Rytas head coach Aleksandar Dzikic to change his game plan. Seibutis downed a long jumper that De Colo erased with a quick basket. Newley buried his second three-pointer and Claver fed Faverani for a fast break dunk that made it a 15-point game, 49-34. Arturas Jomantas tried to ignite L. Rytas' comeback with an easy basket but Newley banked in a running jumper. Roberts shined with a power layup, as the game turned into a physical battle. Markovic stepped up with a jumper and free throws by an unstoppable Newley restored a 16-point Valencia margin, 54-38. Markovic nailed a three-pointer and a free throw by Pietrus capped a 7-0 Valencia run, 58-38. Valanciunas took over with a big basket but fouled out right after that. Serhiy Lishchuk hit foul shots - his first points - but Seibutis matched it with a driving layup and added free throws. Valencia had started to use long possessions to run game the clock down, as Babrauskas and Seibutis managed to bring L. Rytas within 61-48 after 30 minutes.

Seibutis stayed on fire with a backdoor layup early in the fourth quarter, giving L. Rytas some hope at 61-50. Caner-Medley stepped up with a six-meter shot that Babrauskas erased with a layup in transition. Caner-Medley split free throws but Babrauskas brought L. Rytas a bit closer, 64-54. Roberts had his fifth block - breaking a Eurocup semifinals record - and a three-pointer by Babrauskas made it a seven-point game, 64-57. Claver stepped up with a fadeaway jumper that a red hot Babrauskas - who else? - bettered with a rainbow triple that forced Valencia to stop the game, 66-60, with 6 minutes left. Claver answered from downtown but Babrauskas split free throws on Lishchuk's fifth foul and soon kept L. Rytas within 69-63. De Colo joined the three-point shootout and a free throw by Markovic sealed the outcome, 73-63, with over 3 minutes to go. De Colo banked in a close shot and even when Seibutis nailed a corner triple, it was already too little, too late for L. Rytas, as all valencia fans were already celebrating a historical win!

Valencia Basket celebrates - Finals Khimki 2012 - EC11
Saturday, April 14, 2012
Attendance: 3870
By Quarter1234
Valencia Basket29131919
Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius15171622
End of Quarter1234
Valencia Basket29426180
Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius15324870
Valencia Basket
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
00 SAN MIGUEL, RODRIGO DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
4 MARKOVIC, STEFAN 24:46 9 2/5 1/4 2/4 1   1 4 1 2   1 2 4 6
6 OGILVY, ANDREW JAMES DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
8 NEWLEY, BRAD 20:06 12 2/5 2/2 2/4 2 3 5 1 1     1 3 2 12
9 CLAVER, VICTOR 29:37 10 2/5 1/3 3/4 1 2 3 1 2     1 4 4 9
12 LISHCHUK, SERHIY 8:03 3 0/1   3/4 1   1     1   1 5 2 -3
13 FAVERANI, VITOR 23:10 10 4/5 0/1 2/2   2 2 1 3 1 2   4 4 15
17 MARTINEZ, RAFA 17:30 6 0/1 2/4         3   3     3 3 3
20 PIETRUS, FLORENT 18:01 8 1/1 1/2 3/4 2 3 5       1   3 3 12
22 DE COLO, NANDO 23:38 10 3/8 1/3 1/1 1 3 4 3 2 2   2 3 3 8
30 KUKSIKS, RIHARDS DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
33 CANER-MEDLEY, NIK 35:09 12 3/4 1/5 3/4   5 5   1 2   1 1 3 11
Team           3 1 4               4
Totals 200:00 80 17/35 9/24 19/27 11 19 30 13 10 11 3 7 28 28 77
        48.6% 37.5% 70.4%
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
Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
4 DAMBRAUSKAS, PAULIUS DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
5 BABRAUSKAS, STEPONAS 32:58 21 3/3 2/6 9/12 1 1 2 3 3 3     5 9 23
6 RICE, TYRESE 17:25 9 3/6 0/2 3/4   1 1 2 2 3   1 2 3 5
7 ROBERTS, LAWRENCE 31:20 6 3/4 0/2   2 6 8 1   1 6   3   14
10 SEIBUTIS, RENALDAS 26:09 15 4/6 1/1 4/4   1 1     2   1 2 4 13
12 DILYS, VILMANTAS 2:35                              
14 SAMARDZISKI, PREDRAG 20:03 2     2/2 1 5 6 1 2 1     3 5 12
15 KATELYNAS, MINDAUGAS 19:58 5 2/5   1/2 2 1 3 2   4     3 3 2
17 VALANCIUNAS, JONAS 8:27 4 1/2   2/3       1         5 3 1
19 RASIC, ALEKSANDAR 29:54 4 2/3 0/4   1 2 3 3   2     2   1
21 JOMANTAS, ARTURAS 11:11 4 2/3       2 2     1 1 1 3 1 2
32 REDIKAS, DOVYDAS DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Team           1 3 4               4
Totals 200:00 70 20/32 3/15 21/27 8 22 30 13 7 17 7 3 28 28 77
        62.5% 20% 77.8%

Head Coaches

Valencia Basket
"I think the game was tough as we knew beforehand that any game with Lietuvos Rytas would be. They play tough basketball with very aggressive defense, but I think we responded good, especially in the first quarter, when a lot of things worked for us. I think that the first quarter was the key to the game today. We had problems in the second and last quarters, but we had the advantage of people who could help us solve the problems."
"It's clear that when you play against a team like this, you know they will be coming back. There were some hard fouls after we got a big lead, because they wanted to do things different."
"Khimki and Spartak to me are two teams at the top level. Many people assume that Khimki is going to play the final because we are on their court, but I think that Spartak will give them a good game. Like I said, these are a couple of quality teams at the European level."
"I don't think there is any favorite in this tournament. Of course, if Khimki makes the final, every team playing at home is a little favorite, but of course, we will be out there to play and win, as we are one step closer to the Euroleague now."
"Lietuvos Rytas got some easy baskets to get as close as 6 points, but we knew how to solve it. You can't always be up by 20 points."
"Newley is part of our rotation. Sometimes he plays 2 minutes and sometimes 20, depending on how I see him on the floor. Today, he was especially motivated and I thought he played well."
"We knew Lietuvos Rytas was a tough team, aggressive on offensive rebounds and on the pick-and-roll with Valanciunas. We knew we had to stop this. Sometimes you have success and sometimes no."
"For us, every game is important, but we are here to play and win. We are one game away from the Euroleague. This is our opportunity right now and we will try for it Sunday."
Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius
"First of all, congratulations to the club of Valencia. They beat us playing the basketball that we knew they would play. Basically, they jumped on us in the first quarter, scored 29 points, shooting very good from three-point distance, shooting a lot of free throws. And after that, I am pretty satisfied with our defense. We kept them during the other three quarters below 20 points, 51 altogether. Somehow, every time when we managed to be inside two possessions, things happened and they bounced back. But that's what good teams do. I am proud of my players. I know a couple of them played through injuries. So tomorrow we'll try to play another game and try to leave Moscow as winners. For us, it's very important to play each game to win."
"Three players - Rice, Samardziski and Roberts - basically played not being 100 percent, but those are tough guys. They played to the limits of their capabilities. So congratulations to them."
"This is the best Stepas Babrauskas that I have been coaching. I hope he can stay on the same level now, being aggressive, being a leader on offense and defense for our team, because we need him."
"Let's say that I am used to coaching Jonas Valanciunas and getting more from him than we had the chance to see today. We'll watch the game, find the problems, admit our mistakes, learn from them and try never to repeat them. This is the only right process in coaching."


Valencia Basket
"It was a tough game but we came here to win. I think we started well and in the end, Victor's shots saved us when Rytas got too close. We won two Eurocups before and we are here to get the tird, of course."
Valencia Basket
"We are happy with the win, we came here to win this championship. For that it was obligatory that we won this first game. Now we have to see who we get for tomorrow. Get some rest and get ready for the final. We started the game with great defense and they had a hard time scoring. Every time they scored was free throws. In a period of time they got Babrauskas pretty hot and did some threes for them, but I feel like we controlled the game for themost part. We never got into big trouble, we did what we had to do and we succeeded."
Valencia Basket
"It was a very tough game, it's what we expected. We prepared for it. We started well and when we started leading by way more than 10 points I think we relaxed a little and started thinking about the next game. They got close because they are a very good team. Defense was today not so bad I think. I think that was the key of the game for us, we played good defense."
Valencia Basket
"It was a very up-and-down game but we fought all the way. We are in the final now and the goal is to win the title. We wanted to play strong defense throughout the whole game - that was our main goal. We are used to that kind of game, all season. It is now time to focus on tomorrow's game."

Valencia Basket Forward
"I am pumped out, particularily after beating my former team. We have to win the big one tomorrow and we all have been looking forward to this. We have worked hard every day and this is paying off in games. It is important to do the same thing tomorrow. We are a close team and will be ready for the game. All five players on court managed to play strong tonight and now we have to carry on doing that tomorrow. It doesn't matter who we play, we will be well-prepared for tomorrow afternoon."
Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius
"I think the key of the game was that we started very softly at the beginning. Valencia came out with more energy and Ithink that's the reason why wecouldn't catch up the rest of the game. We were very close in the last quarter, we needed one step more to be there, a couple of good defenses. We missed Tyrese a lot because he git injured and Pedja also. Plus we got into foul trouble pretty soon. So we couldn't rotate as we are used to do and we didn't have enough energy in the end."
Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius
"It is difficult to talk after a loss like this. The breaking point was the first half, as they managed to lead by as many as 16 points. It was tough to come back against a good team like Valencia. We gave our heart out but it wasn't enough today. They scouted us very well and dominated the game from the very beginning. We finally found the way to score three-pointers late in the end but it wasn't enough."