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ULEB Summer League
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Quote:It was a one-way final in Jesolo, Italy as Zalgiris Kaunas crushed Lottomatica Roma 94-68 in the first ULEB Summer League title game on Sunday. An amazing 12-point performance in first quarter by Mantas Kalnietis set the tone for Zalgiris, while Lottomatica got closer in the second quarter only. Kalnietis – the youngest player on the court – led the winners with 23 points, 10 assists and 7 fouls received. He did what he wanted and so did his team all night. "I just wanted to play", Kalnietis said after receiving the MVP award from Euroleague Basketball CEO Jordi Bertomeu. "I need to play, definitely. This is my goal in the next Euroleague season, too. I want to be one of the best players in Zalgiris squad. And I hope I could play in the national team". Around him, Zalgiris head- coach Rimantas Grigas had 16 points from Tadas Klimavicius and 13 from Vytenis Jasikevicius, brother of former Euroleague star Sarunas. On the other side, Lottomatica had 16 points from Marco Killingsworth despite his foul trouble, 12 from Simone Bagnoli and 11 from Daniele Cinciarini.

Mantas Kalnietis, MVP - Summer League 2007 Zalgiris started in the best possible way as Kalnietis scored 12 points in the first 6 minutes to give the Lithuanian team an early 21-5 lead. Erkan Oguz helped Lottomatica to stay close with a three-pointer and good assists, feeding Killingsworth to make it 24-17. Zalgiris, however, managed to stay ahead thanks to a zone defense which helped the team post a 16-2 run for a 40-19 lead midway through the second quarter. Lottomatica head coach Guido Saibene decided to use the same tactic, and Roma used its zone to stop Zalgiris and put up a 12-2 run thanks to Bagnoli's inside ability and Cinciarini's shooting. Headed to the lockers up by 12 points, 45-33, Zalgiris easily controlled the second half with Klimavicius scoring 12 of 19 points in the third quarter. With Bagnoli and Killingsworth saddled with four fouls each, Rome lost all of its energy to come back as Zalgiris could run the court for easy fastbreaks, boosting the gap up to 31 points in the last quarter. Kalnietis didn't stop to impressing the crowd as he landed a big three-pointer to send the closing credits and put his hands on the MVP award.

It is good to see Žalgiris youngsters doing well <img src='<#EMO_DIR#>/thup.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':thup:' />

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