Caja Laboral clinched the top spot of Euroleague Top16 Group A tonight with a win in Vilnius, entering the play-offs stage with home advantage.
In a thrilling game in Vilnius Caja Laboral bested the host team of Lietuvos Rytas mainly mainly due to their experience, in a rather ugly game.
In an almost sold out arena it was Lietuvos Rytas who scored first but the Basque side retaliated with a 0-12 run, for 3-12. Caja LAboral established a quick double digits lead, 7-17. The home team was unable to come up with an answer and as a result the first quarter ended with Rytas trailing by eleven, 16-27.
The local team came up strong in the beginning of second quarter and made it 20-27, before cutting it even further, down to three, 26-29. Teletovic boosted his team with a threepointer before Logan and Sow expanded the visiting team’s lead to nine points, 28-37. Nonetheless Rytas was saving the best for the end and with a 11-3 run made the half time score, 39-40.
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Early in the second half Newley gave Leituvos Rytas their first lead of the game, 43-42. However Caja Laboral regained the lead and slowly but steadily kept increasing it, with San Emeterio firing away at will. Gecevicius help his team to a small run which saw them coming very close to Caja Laboral but once more San Emeteiro was ready with the answer, for 55-58 after thirty minutes.
Strawberry tied the game in the opening seconds of the last quarter, but not for long. The Basques made the score 62-69 quickly and kept their lead from that point on. Valanciunas was fighting both in defensive and offensive ends, but he was simply not enough. The final 68-77 score disappointed the home crowd but delighted the visitors who will now face Maccabi Tel Aviv in the play-offs stage with a home advantage.
Lietuvos Rytas: N/A
Caja Laboral: N/A
Full boxscore here