Speedy Smith, Rytas stun Burgos to win the group

2021-12-21T19:52:35+00:00 2021-12-21T21:10:04+00:00.

Giannis Askounis

21/Dec/21 19:52


The rare Basketball Champions League home defeat sends Hereda San Pablo Burgos to the Play-In Round

By Johnny Askounis/ info@eurohoops.net

Thanks to a couple of late triples sank by Speedy Smith, Rytas Vilnius won Group H of the Basketball Champions League Regular Season forcing Hereda San Pablo Burgos to second place with the 84-77 victory at Coliseum Burgos Tuesday.

Well-traveled point guard Smith with his late heroics banked in a game-high 18 points. He also tallied six assists, three rebounds, and two steals in the Gameday 6 fixture.

Senegalese international Maurice Ndour went for 17 points behind 7/11 field goals and grabbed eight rebounds. Ivan Buva and Vaidas Kariniauskas chipped in ten points each at Burgos, Spain. Injured Mindaugas Girdziunas and Jarvis Williams were out.

The team based in the Lithuanian capital fell into a nine-point hole in the first half but held on and began distancing itself after the break. Despite going up by ten points early in the fourth period, the hosts retook the lead with 1:31 remaining before the two clutch three-pointers connected by Smith.

After 13 straight BCL home wins shaping the 15-1 overall record, Burgos was forced down to 4-2. Rytas upped its own W-L tally to 4-2 and by virtue of the two-game sweep leapfrogged its opponent to the top of the Group H standings.

Heading to the Round of 16, the team coached by Giedrius Zibenas will compete in Group L aiming to make the Quarterfinals.

The team guided by Salva Maldonado, back-to-back champions of FIBA’s premier European club continental competition, will get a second chance to progress with the home-court advantage in the best-of-three Play-In series opposite the third seed of Group G, Hapoel U-NET Holon or Darussafaka or Happy Casa Brindisi.

Dejan Kravic scored a team-high 11 points in the final game of the Regular Season. Vitor Benite and Hayden Dalton followed with ten points apiece.

Postgame press conference:

Photo Credit: Basketball Champions League