First trophy of the season: Zalgiris wins BBL Cup! 0
Top four teams from Baltic countries gathered this weekend in Kaunas for a second edition of BBL Cup. Beating Latvian champions Ventspils in the semifinal and downing the rivals Lietuvos rytas, it was Zalgiris Kaunas players, who lifted up BBL Cup after the final whistle.
In the semifinal Zalgiris struggled a little bit for first 10 minutes, but later cruised for 81:69 victory against Ventspils. Dainius Salenga and Martynas Pocius were leading scorers with 17 and 16 points respectively. The American duo of Travis Watson and Marcus Brown added 12 and 11 points. In the other side of the court Ronalds Zakis scored 17 for Ventspils.
While Lietuvos rytas prevailed 117:69 vs. weakened Kalev/Cramo in the other semifinal, the showdown between Kaunas and Vilnius teams was set for Saturday.
The final did not disappoint. Lietuvos rytas led by 7 in the first quarter, but outside shot by Tadas Klimavicius in the last seconds cut the difference to the 4 points (17:21). Pocius and Brown took the load of the scoring in next 10 minutes and Zalgiris led 45:37 at the half.
Zalgiris started the third quarter making first 4 shots, two of them being three pointers by Mantas Kalnietis. It gave hosts 13 point lead, but Lietuvos rytas managed to slow down offense of Zalgiris and tie the score before the last quarter (61:61). With 4 minutes to go Vilnius team even led by 1 point, but Pocius scored from beyond the arc and Salenga was calm at free-throw line to seal the first trophy of the season for Zalgiris.
Salenga scored 18 for the winners, MVP of the game Pocius had 17, Brown made 12 and Watson added double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds. Serbians Milko Bjelica and Bojan Popovic were Lietuvos rytas leaders with 16 points each.
You can check the photos of the BBL Cup final in the photo gallery and watch the moments of Zalgiris triumph in the video below: