Zalgiris routs Fenerbahce, loses Evans

2023-01-05T20:56:45+00:00 2023-01-05T22:21:46+00:00.

Antonis Stroggylakis

05/Jan/23 20:56

It was a near-perfect night for Zalgiris Kaunas… save for Keenan Evans’ injury.

By Eurohoops team/

Ignas Brazdeikis scored 17 points and Laurynas Birutis posted a career-high 15 points plus six rebounds as Zalgiris Kaunas routed Fenerbahce Beko 86 – 66 in the first EuroLeague round of 2023. Zalgiris handed Fener its fifth straight loss in the competition despite losing leading scorer Keenan Evans to a non-contact apparent Achilles tendon injury just one minute into the game.

“Losing a player like that [Keenan Evans], our leader, is always tough so everybody had to step up,” Brazdeikis said. “Everybody had to play hard, play together and do what it took to win this game, and that is what we did.”

Zalgiris assumed control by playing strong physical defense and closed halftime up 41 – 30. The hosts kept the same intensity and hustle in their game for a 12-0 run that spanned between halves and held Fener to just one point for the first five minutes into the third period to go ahead 56 – 31.


Fener was struggling to make shots while committing turnovers and losing the battles for loose balls. Dimitris Itoudis’ team trailed up to 28 points, 65 – 37 at the end of the third period, before trimming the margin in the last quarter.

Only Devin Booker (10 points) scored in double figures from Fener. “We need to look to the mirror,” Itoudis said. He had previously described the result, in combination with his team’s performance, as “devastating.” “We represent a great club and great 30,000,000 fans, and that was a shame, the way we lost.”