2013-14U18 KaunasRound 3
February 09, 2014 CET: 16:30
Local time: 17:30 ZALGIRIS ARENA
Kaunas Tournament: Zalgiris Kaunas stops VEF Riga 86-78 to reach Milan!

Zalgiris Kaunas celebrates - NIJT Kaunas 2014 (photo Zalgiris Kaunas - Rafael Achmedov)To complete a perfect 4-0 run on its homecourt, Zalgiris took an 86-78 victory over VEF Riga in the Kaunas NIJT final on Sunday to punch its ticket to Milan in May. Zalgiris returns to the NIJT finals after a rare, one-year absence to join previous qualifiers Cajasol Seville and Real Madrid. In Sunday's final, Zalgiris overcame a soft start and a couple of furious comebacks by the guests to hold onto victory in front of its home fans. Martynas Varnas paced the winners with 20 points, including 10 in a row shortly after halftime to make it 51-33. Raimunas Zuklevicius and Martynas Sajus added 14 points each, while Justus Vazalis had 13, all in the second quarter, for the winners. Ervins Meznieks led Riga with 22 points, while Ricards Melderis added 17 and Rendijs Fiekners 10. Zalgiris led by 19 points, 72-53, with 6 minutes left before Riga's last comeback try - 10 points in 49 seconds of the final minute - ran out of time at the finish. After the game, Varnas was named MVP of the tournament. He was joined on the all-tournament team by his Zalgiris teammate Kristupas Zemaitis, Klavas Cavars of VEF Riga, Regimantas Miniotas of Lietuvos Rytas and Ondrej Senhal of USK Future Stars Prague.

Martynas Varnas - Zalgiris Kaunas - NIJT Kaunas 2014 (photo Zalgiris Kaunas - Rafael Achmedov)Zigmars Raimo's game-opening triple sent Riga ahead and another by Melderis gave the visitors an early 4-10 advantage. Zalgiris rallied behind 2 three-pointers and as many free throws by Varnas to win the first quarter 16-15. Zalgiris added the first 5 points of the second quarter before Fiekners hit his first 2 shots from downtown to give Riga a 2-13 lead. Vazalis broke a 27-27 tie with free throws then hit his 2 triples in a row to open a 37-27 lead as Zalgiris cruised into the break ahead by 39-31. Zalgiris sought to put the game away with a 12-2 run with 10 points in succession by Varnas after halftime, but Riga responded with 7-16 run to get within 58-49. Zuklevicius saved Zalgiris with the next 7 points, including a layup on the buzzer for a 64-49 lead after 30 minutes. The game seemed decided by the time Sajus made 3 consecutive layups and Valentinas Mitalauskas another for a 72-53 scoreboard with 6:19 to play. But Riga wasn't giving up. Melderis and Feikners sparked a comeback that got the guests within 82-78 when Meznieks buried a three-pointer with 6 seconds left. But as Riga ran out of time, Zalgiris was perfect at the foul line to hold onto victory and celebrate before its home fans a return to the NIJT finals in Milan from May 15 to 18!
Sunday, February 9, 2014
Euroleague.net
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Referees: -
Attendance: 2000 (Tentative)
By Quarter1234
IJT ZALGIRIS KAUNAS16232522
IJT VEF RIGA15161829
End of Quarter1234
IJT ZALGIRIS KAUNAS16396486
IJT VEF RIGA15314978
IJT ZALGIRIS KAUNAS
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
5 ZUKLEVICIUS, RAIMUNDAS 29:24 14 5/8 0/4 4/4   1 1 5   3     2 8 16
6 RAGAUSKAS, MATAS 7:46 5 0/2 1/1 2/2 2   2     2     3 2 2
8 ZEMAITIS, KRISTUPAS 32:27 5 0/1 1/3 2/2   9 9 8 1 6     1 4 17
9 FIODOROVAS, IGNAS 7:41 2 1/4 0/1   1   1 1   1   1   1 -1
10 VAZALIS, JUSTAS 17:54 13 1/1 3/4 2/2   2 2     2     4 1 9
11 SAJUS, MARTYNAS 26:47 14 7/9     4 6 10     2         20
12 KLIMAVICIUS, JUSTAS DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
13 VARNAS, MARTYNAS 24:48 20 2/3 4/7 4/4   1 1 1 1 3     2 3 17
14 ECHODAS, MARTYNAS 15:54 3 1/2   1/2   6 6     3 1   2 1 4
15 MITALAUSKAS, VALENTINAS 27:57 6 2/2   2/2 3 3 6 1 2 2     4 4 13
16 BALABAN, MIKITA 1:21                         1   -1
21 MAZIONIS, ROKAS 8:01 4 2/3     1   1 1         5    
Team           1   1     1          
Totals 200:00 86 21/35 9/20 17/18 12 28 40 17 4 25 1 1 24 24 96
        60% 45% 94.4%
Head coach:
Min: Minutes played; Pts: Points; 2FG M-A: 2-point Field Goals (Made-Attempted); 3FG M-A: 3-point Field Goals (Made-Attempted); FT M-A: Free Throws (Made-Attempted); Rebounds: O (Offensive), D (Defensive), T (Total); As: Assists; St: Steals; To: Turnovers; Bl: Blocks (Fv: In Favor / Ag: Against); Fouls: Cm (Commited), Rv (Received); PIR: Performance Index Rating
IJT VEF RIGA
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
4 FEIKNERS, RENDIJS 21:41 10 2/3 2/3     1 1 2   2     4 1 6
5 STIKUTS, AIVARS DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
6 KOHS, VERNERS 7:47   0/1 0/2   1 1 2   2   1   1   1
8 MELDERIS, RICARDS 23:37 17 5/7 2/6 1/2 2 1 3 1 6 2     2 3 19
9 RAIMO, ZIGMARS 26:27 6 1/3 1/2 1/2 5 1 6 4 1 2     3 5 13
10 CAVARS, KLAVS 20:48 8 3/7   2/2 3 6 9 1   2     5 1 8
12 SILINS, KARLIS 4:52 1     1/2                   1 1
13 CAUNE, EMILS DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
14 AVENITIS, RAULS 30:13 8 3/5 0/7 2/3 1 2 3 2 3     1 2 5 8
15 SKVARNAVICS, JANIS DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
23 MEZNIEKS, ERVINS 32:37 22 4/8 2/7 8/9 2   2 2 1 2     5 6 16
24 LOMAZS, RIHARDS 31:58 6 3/6 0/5         2 3 3     2 2  
Team           4 1 5               5
Totals 200:00 78 21/40 7/32 15/20 18 13 31 14 16 13 1 1 24 24 77
        52.5% 21.9% 75%
Head coach:
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