Entering Round 4, Zalgiris ranked at EuroLeague’s very bottom in rebounding. It averaged only 24.7 rebounds per game, and through three games had pulled down a total of 25 offensive rebounds (8.3 on average). But for all they lacked in the first three rounds in this department, Coach Sarunas Jasikevicius men came up big on the glass last night against Panathinaikos in Athens, and in the end, it won them a game.
Zalgiris outrebounded Panathinaikos 32-46 last night, and with those 46 rebounds, the last-ranked team set a new single-game season-high in the EuroLeague this season. Zalgiris also had the edge by pulling down 13 offensive rebounds in 83-87 overtime win, and all of those came after the first quarter. While the dominance on the glass kept Zalgiris in front throughout the clash, once the game went down to the wire and Panathinaikos edged in front, success in rebounding preserved Zalgiris’ chances for victory.
Down 76-74 and with 41 seconds left, Zalgiris went down the floor to attempt to tie or take the lead. Thomas Walkup missed his shot, however, Aaron White came down with an offensive rebound to give his team a second chance. Seconds ticked away and Nate Wolters missed a three-point attempt, but Thomas Walkup hustled to get another offensive board. Walkup missed his close-range attempt, but Brandon Davies went sky high for a tip-in that tied the game with 6 seconds to go in the regulation, sending the game went into overtime.
In the extra session, Zalgiris came up with two more key offensive boards, and none was bigger than the one Edgaras Ulanovas pulled down for a put-back that made it 80-86, which proved to be an insurmountable lead.