Lietkabelis grabs first road win in Trento
Liettkabelis Panevezys claimed a valuable 61-77 victory against Dolomiti Energia Trento at BLM Group Arena on Tuesday night, which lifted the club's record to 2-1 in Group A and snapped a seven-game road losing streak. Lietkabelis amassed a double-digit lead, 12-24, at the end of the first quarter and managed to resist against a third-quarter rally by Trento, who tied it at 43-43. A 1-10 run led by Panagiotis Kalaitzakis helped the visitors regain a solid margin that Gediminas Orelik confirmed with 7 points in a row in the last 5 minutes to seal the win. Kalaitzakis had another impressive offensive performance with 20 points on 4-of-5 three-point shooting to pace the winners and found helpful contributions from Orelik, Djordje Gagic and Vytenis Lipkevicius, whos scored 14, 11 and 10 points, respectively. Jonathan Williams posted 18 points and 8 rebounds and Cameron Reynolds added 13 and 6 for Trento, which dropped to 0-3.
The visitors had a good offensive start, hitting every shot they attempted to build a 5-9 lead after 3 minutes. Despite Diego Flaccadori's and Williams's efforts, Trento could not prevent Lietkabelis from increasing the margin to 8-18 after a 0-9 run in which Kalaitzakis had 5 points. Trento’s scoring drought came to its end thanks to Jordan Caroline, who scored a contested layup and hit a pair of free throws. Nevertheless, nobody else joined in for the hosts as Lietkabelis claimed a 12-24 edge at the end of the first quarter.
The double-digit advantage lasted until Desonta Bradford drained the first triple of the night for the home team, which Reynolds followed with another one to reduce the gap to 22-28 midway through the second quarter. Gagic stepped up inside to try to hold off the visitors, but Trento kept pushing with Reynolds, Williams and Wesley Saunders to make it 29-32. Orelik and Reynolds traded threes after a timeout and Saunders tightened it to 34-35 right after. A three-point play by Kristupas Zemaitis helped Lietkabelis retain a 34-38 lead at halftime.
Williams needed just two shots to make it all square, as Kalaitzakis and Reynolds swapped threes to keep the tie at 41-41 right after the break. The visitors didn’t tremble, though. Kalaitzakis showed up once from deep again and Orelik contributed twice from the line for a 43-48 advantage. Trento seemed to have lost its momentum, with just 1 point in 4 minutes, and Kalaitzakis exploited it to nail another long shot that made it 44-51. Zemaitis extended the visitors' lead to 9, starting a free-throw exchange that kept Lietkabelis in front, 49-57, after 30 minutes.
Zemaitis showed up again to restore a double-digit lead for the visitors with a three, as Trento returned to struggle on offense. Nikola Radicevic made it 53-65 with a contested layup, forcing the home team to call a timeout with 6 minutes remaining. Flaccadori helped the hosts break the trend with a three-point play, to which he added a couple of free throws that kept Trento’s hopes still alive, 59-67, with 3 minutes remaining. Lietkabelis found a timely answer from Orelik, who posted a three-point play and added 2 free throws and later stole a ball that led to a definitive triple by Lipkevicius that sealed the outcome, 61-75, entering the last minute.
Kalaitzakis shines again
Panagiotis Kalaitzakis is living a magic 7DAYS Eurocup debut season so far. After going for 12 points against Slask Wroclaw on opening night, he netted 22 points at home against Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar in Round 2. Against Trento, he felt shy of a career-high scoring by ‘just’ scoring 20, but his performance was nothing but crucial for Lietkabelis. He was the visitors’ main weapon in the first quarter, providing 9 points without missing a shot, to help Lietkabelis build a double-digit margin, 12-24. Later, when Trento rallied and tied the game, 38-38, early in the third quarter, he showed up again to score 11 points that snuffed out the home team's reaction.
The numbers: Controlling the rebounds, turnovers helped Lietkabelis prevail
Before this game, Lietkabelis was second in the EuroCup with 40 boards per game and tied for first with 16.5 offensive rebounds. Coach Nenad Canak's charges had outrebounded opponents by 10 per game and it happened again in Trento. The visitors had 39 overall, compared to 27 by the hosts, and got 12 offensive boards. Even though those were not turned into a massive second-chance scoring, they helped Lietkabelis prevent Trento from taking charge of the rhythm. Better care of the ball in the second half was also crucial, as the guests had only 5 turnovers after the break against Trento’s 9. Lietkabelis exploited them to get 13 second-chance points in the last 20 minutes, which proved quite useful to abort all the comeback attempts from the hosts.
Trento’s offensive woes continue
Dolomiti Energia Trento faced Lietkabelis being ranked 20th and last in scoring (64.5 ppg.), assists (9.5 apg.), two-point shooting accuracy (41.1%) and three-point accuracy (25.6%) after 2 rounds. Even though it improved its two-point percentages, Trento remained inaccurate both from behind the arc (22.2%) and from the line (55%), finishing with only 61 points on offense. Having scored just 12 points in the first quarter, Trento had to fight back in the second and the third to sew itself to the game, but another low-scoring performance in the final stanza - 2 points in the last 4:53 - punished the guests with another loss. Half of Trento’s points came from Jonathan Williams and Cameron Reynolds, who combined for 31 points and 14 rebounds in the losing effort. They will need some more help in the next games to help Trento celebrate its first win.
Tuesday, November 2, 2021