By Eurohoops team/ firstname.lastname@example.org
It was a roller coaster of an ending with Sam Van Rossom making a big three and giving a 78-77 lead to Valencia in the previous possession, completing an improbable 8-0 run in the last 34 seconds of the game.
Still, Grigonis had the last laugh and 12 points in total, while Augustine Rubit led a balanced offensive effort for the guests with 17 points. As Grigonis said: “I am really happy that we finished the game like this. I am happy about the last 3 seconds because, I mean, we did so many mistakes! We played at the last minute, not like a EuroLeague team, but I am happy with the win. I had Thomas [Walkup] taking the ball out – he knew that if he didn’t find anything else, he would pass it to me and I was trying to put the shot up. And it went in! So I am happy.”
As Valencia’s coach Ponsarnau admitted: “It was heads or tails, we had a bit of luck to take the lead and bad luck in the final play. Congratulations to Zalgiris. They are playing really well and today, they showed why they are competing so well in the EuroLeague.”
For Zalgiris coach Martin Schiller it was all about defense: “The key to the win, to me, is keeping an offensive team like them under 80 points. That was very important for us and that kind of gave us a chance. What happened down the stretch was the beauty of the game. It was up and down, a great shot for them, a great shot by Marius down the stretch there. We are happy that we got the win. Again, I am really happy about the ending, but again, about the overall game, the overall performance defensively in the second half – actually, in the last three quarters were really good. I am really happy about that.”
Klemen Prepelic with 18 points was the top scorer of the hosts, followed by Luis Labeyrie who scored 17 points despite 2/8 threes.
Thanks to this result Zalgiris remains 6th in the standings with a 13-9 record, while Valencia dropped to the 10th position at 11-11.