Eurocup newcomer Rudupis kept its Last 16 hopes strong by trouncing visiting GasTerra Flames of the Netherlands 97-70 at home in Lithuania on Tuesday. The victory lifted its record to 3-2 in Group C, good for a second-place tie Aris BSA 2003. The two teams will play a head-to-head showdown in Thessaloniki, Greece next week to decide the only Last 16 berth left from Group C after Nymburk clinched first place Tuesday. The hosts dominated in all facets against GasTerra as veteran Dainius Salenga led five Rudupis scorers in double figures with 15 points. Edgaras Zelionis added 14 points, Arminas Urbutis 13, Gintaras Kaziulis and Adas Juskevicius 10 each for the winners. GasTerra, whose record fell to 0-5, got 13 points each from David Bell and Avis Wyatt, 12 from Alex Wesby, but couldn't overcome the home team's 28-for-41 two-point shooting.
Rudupis hit the ground running, as four different players contributed to an 8-0 lead. GasTerra answered with the next 7 points, including a triple by Bell. The next run belonged to Rudupis, a triple by Justas Sinica and a layup each by Simas Buterlevicius and Juskevicius to open a 15-7 lead. Each team added 4 points in the final 2 minutes to push the score to 19-14 after 10 minutes. Sergio De Randamie for Gasterra and Urbutis for Rudupis exchanged layups to open the second quarter. Kadziulis then got his first points on a three-pointer, extending the lead to 24-16. After Avis Wyatt scored 4 in a row for the visitors, Zelionis put in a layup and Kadziulis buried another triple to keep Rudupis out front 29-22. Bell answered with another triple of his own from downtown as GasTerra sliced the lead to 29-25. But Rudupis kept up the offensive pressure, taking a 37-27 lead as Urbutis worked down low, scoring layups and free throws. The lead stayed in double digits until Bell drilled another triple with 5 seconds left to cut the deficit to 43-36 at the end of the half.
Rudupis opened the third quarter with a seven-point surge that De Randamie ended with a layup, setting the score at 52-38. But the hosts never let up, as Salenga buried a triple to stretch the lead to 21 points, 61-40. Wesby tried to rally GasTerra with 8 straight points, followed by a Jason Dourisseau dunk that trimmed the difference to 67-52. But the last points of the quarter belonged to Rudupis on a layup by Justus Sinica, as the hosts maintained a commanding 69-53 lead. GasTerra could only muster 5 points in the opening 5 minutes of the final quarter, while Rudupis skated ahead to an 81-58 lead on points by Aidas Viskontas, Salenga and Sinica. Nymburk kept piling on more points in the final few minutes to take some momentum into next week's do-or-die finale.
Tuesday, December 13, 2011