Rytas set Group E on fire

Lietuvos Rytas set fire on Group E of the Top 16 as they escaped with the win from Vitoria, beating Caja Laboral with 86-89. That’s two for two for Lithuanian teams this season in Vitoria as Zalgiris also emerged victorious in the Regular season, beating the home team with 88-92.

The visitors showed their teeth early on in the game and despite Stanko Barac’ effort, managed to win the first quarter 17-26, mostly thanks to Milko Bjelica. The hosts however, balanced the situation in the second part of the game and went to the locker rooms being up by three, as Marcelinho Huertas was having a great night, while everything was pointing to the direction that Caja Laboral would clean it up in the third quarter.

The fiesty Liths were not ready to just give up though. Khalid El-Amin and Kenan Bajramovic took over in offense and kept Rytas in the game, with the third quarter closing at 56-55 for the hosts. Viewers were in for a treat in the last quarter, as they did not only watch an offensive spectacle (30-34), but also a thrilling finale.

The visiting team took the lead halfway into the period, with Bajramovic and Khalid El-Amin being unstoppable and showed that they wouldn’t go down without a fight. Mirza Teletovic tied the game at 86 with mere five seconds to time and everybody was expecting overtime. El-Amin was not done yet scoring though (he had given the 3-point lead to Rytas earlier) and with a buzzer-beating three-pointer kept his team alive in the fight for the quarterfinals, while at the same time he set fire on Group E.

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