2008-09FinalsGame 1
April 05, 2009 CET: 18:00
Local time: 18:00 PALASPORT OLIMPICO
Lietuvos Rytas celebrates 2008-09 Eurocup Champ - Final Eight Turin 2009 - EC08

Lietuvos Rytas is once again the Eurocup champion!

L. Rytas became the first team to win the Eurocup title twice and sealed its return to the Euroleague for the 2009-10 season by downing BC Khimki Moscow Region 80-74 in the final on Sunday, making competition history in the process. L. Rytas completed a perfect weekend in which it previously downed Benetton Basket Tamoil and Hemofarm Stada to reach the final. In its last three appearances in the competition, L. Rytas won two titles and made it to the 2007 final. Marijonas Petravicius led the winners and earned Final Eight MVP honors with 20 points on 8-for-9 shooting. Steponas Babrauskas added a career-high 18 points, while Chuck Eidson had 14 for L. Rytas. Kelly McCarty led Khimki with 20 points. Carlos Delfino added 16 and Timofey Mozgov and Vitaly Fridzon each had 11 in defeat. Khimki was in control after Mozgov led a 2-10 run that gave Khimki an 8-point lead early in the second quarter. An unstoppable Delfino helped Khimki to extend its margin to 35-44 at halftime and a three-pointer by Maciej Lampe made it 39-51 before an 8-0 run brought L. Rytas back to life. Arturas Jomantas and Babrauskas fueled a 17-0 run that bridged the third and fourth quarter that put L. Rytas ahead, 66-62. It all came down to the final two minutes. A three-point play by Delfino tied it at 71-71, but Petravicius, Eidson and a crucial triple by Babrauskas allowed L. Rytas to celebrate an incredible come-from-behind win. Mindaugas Lukauskis becomes the second player to win two Eurocup titles, joining Edu Hernandez-Sonseca (Madrid 2007, Joventut 2008). Coach Rimas Kurtinaitis also won his first European club title after losing two finals in the mid-1980s with Zalgiris.

L. Rytas started on fire, with Eidson burying a three-pointer and Petravicius scoring a reverse behind Mozgov for a 5-0 lead. McCarty downed a triple and then scored a floater in the lane as Khimki isolated him one-on-one against Arturas Jomantas. Mozgov made free throws and Viltali Fridzon stole and finished a fastbreak layup for Khimki's first lead, 7-9. Petravicius was unstoppable, however, downing an off-balance layup and the foul shot that came with it. Eidson buried his trademark stop-and-pop jumper to make it 12-9, but a layup-plus-free throw by Mozgov tied it again. Zavackas and Fridzon traded triples, as Khimki tried to use Anton Ponkrashov on Eidson. Zavackas went inside next for a driving layup, but Khimki's Mike Wilkinson copied him on the other end, tying the game again, 17-17. L. Rytas sub Milko Bjelica shined with a layup-plus-free throw as Kurtinaitis gave Eidson some rest. Delfino sank a floating layup and a free throw by McCarty helped Khimki force another tie, 20-20. Bjelica provided a highlight with a two-handed dunk, but Ponkrashov matched it with foul shots to fix the score at 22-22 after 10 minutes.

Early in the second quarter, Delfino sent a message with a smooth three-pointer, but Bjelica scored again to keep L. Rytas within 24-25. McCarty joined the three-point shootout while an unstoppable Mozgov added a put-back power layup for a 24-30 Khimki lead, the game's biggest so far. L. Rytas used a timeout but kept missing shots, while Mozgov added to the lead with foul shots. Zavackas revived L. Rytas with a running triple, but Delfino was ready with an answer: A seven-meter bomb high over his defender that boosted Khimki's lead to 27-36. Khimki managed to make Eidson uncomfortable enough that the L. Rytas offense stalled, so Kurtinaitis called another timeout and got Petravicius involved again, rolling off a high-post pick for a layup. Delfino was not done, however, and provided the highlight of the weekend to that point by swooping to the basket for a windmill dunk over two L. Rytas defenders. With Khimki charged up, Jorge Garbajosa fed Mozgov for an easy dunk that made it a double-digit game, 30-40, for the first time. Fridzon hit free throws that Petravicius counter-balanced with an open dunk on another feed from Eidson. Lukauskis hit a backdoor layup to give L. Rytas some hope at 35-42, but Garbajosa's free throws let Khimki keep a 35-44 advantage at halftime.

Lampe stepped up with a second-chance layup immediately after the break for Khimki's biggest lead yet, 35-46, but Petravicius copied him in the other end to lower the difference to single digits. L. Rytas improved its defense, not allowing Khimki to score in transition, but Garbajosa shined with a turnaround jumper that Jomantas matched with a driving layup. L. Rytas only managed to trade baskets now and could not get Eidson involved either. Lampe took advantage with a triple from the left wing that gave Khimki a new high lead of 12 points after 24 minutes. Khimki opted to slow down the game tempo, but could not get better shots now. Meanwhile, free throws by Petravicius and Babrauskas gave L. Rytas some hope at 42-51. Babrauskas remained hot with a triple from the corner and a power layup by Petravicius gave his team an 8-0 run and prompted a Khimki timeout at 47-51. Khimki found a go-to guy in McCarty, who downed a big three-pointer and added free throws to keep his team out of trouble at 47-56. Eidson and Ponkrashov traded foul shots before McCarty buried another shot to restore an 11-point Khimki margin. Fridzon shined with a backdoor layup, but L. Rytas was not done. Bjelica scored inside, Jomantas had an incredible block on Lampe's dunk attempt and free throws by Babrauskas kept their team within 53-62 after 30 minutes.

L. Rytas needed a quick comeback to keep its title hopes alive and Babrauskas tried to ignite it with free throws. Garbajosa and Fridzon missed from downtown and Jomantas followed a close basket with a five-meter jumper to make it a three-point game. Jomantas pushed L. Rytas with a running jumper that caused Khimki to call a much-needed timeout at 61-62. Khimki had been scoreless for more than five minutes when a wild triple by Babrauskas completed his team's comeback. Babrauskas kept it going with a high-flying tip that capped a 17-0 run with L. Rytas ahead 66-62. Finally, Khimki became unstuck as McCarty buried a mid-range jumper, although free throws by Eidson kept L. Rytas up 68-64. Fridzon scored off an inbounds pass, but Babrauskas gave his team a 69-66 edge with four minutes remaining. McCarty nailed another mid-range shot while Mozgov had a key block on Eidson that forced a 24-second violation. Petravicius scored inside, but a three-point play by Delfino tied it at 71-71. Petravicius a made foul shot and grabbed a key defensive rebound that allowed Eidson to bury a critical jumper, 74-71, with 58.4 seconds to go. A corner triple by Babrauskas sealed the outcome, 77-71, allowing the L. Rytas fans to celebrate one of the most incredible come-from-behind wins in European club basketball history!

Marijonas Petravicius - Lietuvos Rytas - Final Eight Turin 2009 - EC08
Sunday, April 5, 2009
Javier Gancedo, Turin
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Attendance: 3985
By Quarter1234
Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius22131827
Khimki Moscow Region22221812
End of Quarter1234
Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius22355380
Khimki Moscow Region22446274
Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
5 BABRAUSKAS, STEPONAS 28:34 18 1/2 3/5 7/8 2 3 5 1 3       4 6 25
8 LUKAUSKIS, MINDAUGAS 22:56 3 1/1 0/5 1/2   3 3 6 1 4     3 2 2
11 BJELICA, MILKO 11:30 9 4/5 0/1 1/3   3 3   1       3 3 9
12 ANISIMOV, MICHAILIS 4:51         1   1           1    
13 EIDSON, CHUCK 36:26 14 2/7 1/4 7/10 1 3 4 4   3   1 1 9 15
14 ZAVACKAS, DONATAS 28:14 8 1/1 2/5   1 4 5 1     1   5   7
15 PETRAVICIUS, MARIUS 30:33 20 8/9   4/7 2 5 7 1   3 1 1 3 5 23
21 JOMANTAS, ARTURAS 26:31 8 4/7   0/1 1 3 4 1   3 1 2 4 2 3
22 SINICA, JUSTAS 3:04           2 2       1       3
31 GECEVICIUS, MARTYNAS 5:54     0/1                       -1
41 BRAZDAUSKIS, LUKAS DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
55 DAINYS, EVALDAS 1:27                 1 1       1 1
Team           2 2 4     1         3
Totals 200:00 80 21/32 6/21 20/31 10 28 38 14 6 15 4 4 24 28 90
        65.6% 28.6% 64.5%
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
Khimki Moscow Region
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
5 PALACIO, MILT 16:29   0/2       2 2 1   3     1   -3
7 FRIDZON, VITALY 25:25 11 3/6 1/4 2/2 2 1 3   1 2     2 1 6
10 DELFINO, CARLOS 25:07 16 3/5 3/5 1/1       2         3 3 14
11 RANNIKKO, TEEMU DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
12 VARDA, RATKO DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
13 WILKINSON, MIKE 12:38 2 1/5     3   3   1 1 1 2 3 1 -2
15 GARBAJOSA, JORGE 33:25 5 1/5 0/4 3/4 1 4 5 3 3 1   1 3 7 9
16 SHABALKIN, NIKITA DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
18 PONKRASHOV, ANTON 23:31 4     4/4   2 2 6   4     4 2 6
21 McCARTY, KELLY 30:12 20 4/6 3/10 3/4 1 1 2   1   1   3 4 15
25 MOZGOV, TIMOFEY 19:53 11 3/4   5/8 3 6 9     2 1   4 6 17
30 LAMPE, MACIEJ 13:20 5 1/7 1/1   2 3 5   1   1 1 5    
Team           2 3 5               5
Totals 200:00 74 16/40 8/24 18/23 14 22 36 12 7 13 4 4 28 24 67
        40% 33.3% 78.3%

Head Coaches

Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius
"We worked pretty hard for the Final Eight, so the result today, winning the cup, is special. We played better, played with our heart, we believed in our victory and we played even though we were behind. Usually we play the full 40 minutes, so tonight was nothing special to come back. We have experience for these games. From our groups before, against Bilbao and Gran Canaria, it was the same just to get to the next round. Tonight it was the final, and after the third quarter, we were behind nine, the same as at halftime. I just told the players to take it easy and go step by step for the victory. And it happened. We didn't lose confidence. We trusted in the victory. We saved our energy for the fourth quarter. That's why we didn't start with aggressive defense like we usually do, to save energy for the fourth quarter. Maybe we had an advantage because the rule is not the same for all teams. Khimki had to play three days in a row and we got a day off. I think maybe that should be looked at, because I know it happened to our national team in the Eurobasket in Madrid. Any player is tired if you play three days in row. Khimki is a great team, with a perfect coach and style, good spacing and good shooters. They were very good. But as I told my players, you have to trust yourself in all of life, not just basketball."

"This is not the first time I meet this situation in my life. I was an Olympic champion as a player, and I remember leading by 15 against the Yugoslav team with a couple minutes left. At that moment, though, you just do your job. The feeling or understanding of winning comes maybe three or five years later. Now, we have done a big job, winning the second cup in Europe. It's great. I am happy for my players , who did this job. We just prepare strategy: they did this big job."
Khimki Moscow Region
"First of all, I want to congratulate Lietuvos Rytas on their win. They played a great tournament and they've been patient tonight. They are a very experienced, veteran, smart team. They believed that they would find the right moment, they didn’t let their arms down when they were down in the score. They kept fighting and playing and deserved it in the last minutes. From our side, I can say obviously we cannot be happy now. The last quarter I don't know if we ran out of gas or we just played not to lose, instead of playing to win. I haven't spoken with the players yet, so I don't have the answer to this question. It's clear that after 32 or 33 minutes of playing well, we lost our focus. The only regret we have is that possibly we got to this Final Eight a little short in a few players. The change of date sure didn't help us recover players who were out for so many months up to last week. But I don't want to say anything that could be used as an excuse. Lietuvos Rytas won. We feel we are going up, building something ambitious and solid for the future. We will now refocus and start to prepare strong for the Russian League playoffs, because I believe that the way to the Euroleague is still open. We have another chance in the Russian Superleague, and we will use it for sure."

"In the fourth quarter, we were not really aggressive, not really going to the basket strong, a little slow and not moving the ball quickly. We got to the final seconds of the possession without creating danger to their defense. But that wasn't the main problem. The main problem is that Lietuvos Rytas scored 27 points in the last quarter. That was the number one thing. We made a few really stupid defensive mistakes. We didn't play that aggressive. Giving up 27 points in the last quarter very seldom goes with winning the game."


Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius
"I feel great, this is best feeling the word. We never quit even when we were down in the third quarter, but this is how this team plays in games like this. We never gave up and now are going to play in the Euroleague next season, which is very important for the club. This is our second Eurocup title and even when I am very tired after four days of very hard work, we are going to celebrate. I think we are going home soon, and as soon as we get there, we are going to celebrate and I am sure it will be exciting."
Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius
"It feels great! All our hard work paid off. I was a lot of fun. Everybody here got to see what kind of heart this team has. We didn't quit. We stayed cool, got the ball to Marijonas (Petravicius) and he took care of business down there. I knew it was going to be tough, but I never doubted that it could happen. With the kind of defense we play and the way we shoot the ball, you can never count us out. I am ecstatic. I haven't slept in three days."
Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius
"This is an unbelievable feeling! We lost the final two years ago so right now I am the happiest person in the world! We never gave up and managed to come back in the fourth quarter. Our fans were unbelievable, everyone of them. This win is for all of them. Lietuvos Rytas is back in the Euroleague and we can't wait to get back to Vilnius and celebrate!"
Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius
"It's fantastic. I am very happy. Our team did great a job. Though we were losing almost all the game, we didn't finish believing that we could do it step by step. It's unbelievable. I don't have words to describe it. I don't know how we came back - you saw what happened on the court. We just played with our heart and it helped us a lot."
Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius
"I am the happiest man in the world right now. I don't know how we managed to come back. We wanted to win so much, and we did it, probably by believing in it. We always have the support of our fans, not only in the finals, but in all the games - everywhere we play."
Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius
"It is unbelievable, like a dream come true to me. We were down late in the third quarter but never gave up. We played together, as we usually do. We always play good team basketball and that was the biggest key to the game. We stick together and won because of that. Not only we won the Eurocup, but now we are playing the Euroleague next season. I can tell you one thing, we are going to have a big celebration after this win!"
Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius
"This is great, we feel just great after this win. We always play as a team and had some bad moments in the beginning of the season, losing some games by a lot of points early in the Eurocup. We always stayed positive and tried to do things better. We made it to the final game and even when we were down by many points, it was our only chance and never gave up. We never quit and are back in the Euroleague! This is the second time that we win this competition, something that no team had done before. We proved everyone that we deserve to play in the Euroleague. I am very proud of my team because like I said, we never quit and played very well in the fourth quarter."
Khimki Moscow Region
"It's very tough to lose this game. You get here, you play three games in three days and play your heart out. We played hard and executed our game plan. But they made shots and we didn't, and that was the difference. It wasn't something like that in the beginning we played great and they play bad, and in the end they playd great and we played bad - it was a great game throughout, a championship game. We knew it was going to be tip for tap. It came down to the last quarter, where they made shots and we missed some, they got some offensive rebounds and we didn't. We were also in the penalty early, so every foul counted. All those things took in the play. Somebody got to loose, and somebody got to win. To be a great winner you have to be a great looser. I definitely think we'll learn something from this game and it won't be our last time being here."
Khimki Moscow Region
"Down the stretch, we didn't play defense like we should have. That was the biggest thing right there. They hit a couple of shots, but we knew they were going to do that, and yet we didn't respond by playing defense. They've got toughness and they hit some big shots. I am very, very, very disappointed. Especially because we were winning for the whole game and had a 13-point lead late in the game. It's very disappointing."
Khimki Moscow Region
"They raised their intensity during the fourth quarter and surprised us a bit. They hit some big shots in the end and managed to get back to the game with outstanding defense, switching really well. They managed to stop our defense. We paid a high price for a lack of physical condition in the fourth quarter amd did not manage to match the intensity they had right when it mattered. There are no excuses, they played better and I want to congratulate them."
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