Brazdeikis and Evans “killed” Virtus in the end

2022-10-18T21:02:55+00:00 2022-10-18T22:01:17+00:00.

Aris Barkas

18/Oct/22 21:02

Ignas Brazdeikis and Keenan Evans were the heroes for Zalgiris on the night that the jersey of longtime captain Paulius Jankunas was retired

By Eurohoops team/

Ignas Brazdeikis saved the best for the end. First, with a crucial shot, he gave Zalgiris a one-point lead (66-65), and then after Milos Teodosic lost the ball, with two free throws he made the score 68-65 with seven seconds left before the final buzzer.

That was enough for the win as Keenan Evans stole the ball and Zalgiris prevailed over Virtus Bologna.

Brazdeikis finished the game with 14 points, while Rolands Smits added 13.

Kyle Weems with 15 points on 6/6 FG was the key on the offensive end for Virtus Bologna but in the end, that was just a footnote.

Virtus Segafredo Bologna head coach Sergio Scariolo admitted that details, including offensive rebounds, cost the game: “We had a very, very good first half and we had some flashes in the second half in which honestly, we did not have the right consistency and the right resilience throughout the 40 minutes. I feel that the difference was made by the 10 offensive rebounds Zalgiris grabbed in the second half, and by the 10 free throws we missed, but at the end of the day, we were 5 up with a couple of minutes to go and then it became a one-on-one game where they made their drives, they made their buckets and we didn’t. We had sloppy executions while they were pretty effective, especially in the last two one-on-ones with Evans and Brazdeikis. So congrats to them. We have one day to rest and prepare the next one.”

Virtus started the game well (24-16), but Zalgiris trimmed the lead to seven at halftime (48-41) and finally got the lead (42-41) after a shot by Smits.

Virtus entered the last period having the lead back (53-52) and nothing was decided. The Italians built a five-point cushion (63-58). Still, with 22 seconds left on the clock, Virtus was up by one (65-64) and Zalgiris had the ball setting the stage for the thrilling finale.

Zalgiris Kaunas head coach Kazys Maksvytis admitted his satisfaction: “I am happy for my guys. We had a very long, hard game. We kept our heads up and fought until the end, and we deserved this win. First of all, we shared the ball well. We tried to find good targets and we maybe made some changes from the first games. We know that the key to winning is hard defense and teamwork. We hope we will not relax and get wins.”

The two teams are now tied with a 1-2 record.

It was a night to remember in Kaunas no matter what since Zalgiris retired the no.13 jersey of longtime captain Paulius Jankunas who retired after last season.

Photo credit: EuroLeague