The return of Sarunas Jasikevicius gave a positive emotional boost for Lithuanian champions as they recorded a crucial win (90-62) against Cibona. Both teams struggled to score in the first minutes of the game but the hosts took control soon and dominated the whole game.
Four players finished the game in double digits for Rytas including top prospect Jonas Valanciunas who exploded with 15 points with 6/7 shooting. Croatia international Bojan Bogdanovic led Cibona with 19 points but that wasn’t enough for the visitors.
The win means hat Rytas can still qualify for Top 16 while Cibona’s chances are now very slim.
Siemens Arena was nearly sold out after the news about the return of Saras appeared on Tuesday morning. The crowd wanted to see their favourite on the floor. After the chants “Saras, Saras!” by the crowd several times one of the best point guard in the history of European basketball has finally appeared on court in the fourth quarter with 6 minutes left to play. Saras was welcomed with a standing ovation. The moment was so emotional that it even brought his mother to tears.
Lietuvos Rytas (23+15+23+29): Khalid El-Amin 19, Martynas Gecevicius 15, Jonas Valanciunas 15, Brad Newley 12, Milko Bjelica 8, Arturas Jomantas 8, Cemal Nalga 8, Steponas Babrauskas 3.
Cibona (12+17+9+24): Bojan Bogdanovic 19, Goran Vrbanc 15, Rok Stipcevic 10, Leon Radosevic 8, Drago Pasalic 6, Mario Delas 3, Tomislav Zubcic 1.