Big win keeps Zalgiris juniors record perfect 0

Three-time reigning qualifier champion U18 Zalgiris Kaunas remained in a hunt for the final of the Euroleague Basketball Adidas Next Generation Tournament Kaunas by beating U18 Canarias Basketball Academy Las Palmas 76:53.

Zalgiris improved to 2-0 in Group B as Erikas Venskus collected 17 points and 8 rebounds. Zalgiris, which also got 11 points from Ignas Sargiunas, has never lost a qualifier game at Zalgirio Arena with 18 straight wins dating back to 2011-12 season. Zalgiris will face off against CSKA on Friday in a battle of 2-0 teams with the winner reaching Saturday’s final.

CBA dropped to 0-2 despite Danilo Brnovic picking up 11 points. CBA plays its final Group B game on Friday against U18 VEF Riga. The winner will play for fifth place.

Sargiunas picked up 5 early points in helping Zalgiris open a 10:5 lead. Venskus took over for a couple of minutes with 7 points for a 19:12 cushion. The gap was 21:16 after 10 minutes.

Nothing could go wrong for Venskus in the first half with two more baskets early in the second quarter and Sargiunas nailed two three-pointers as Zalgiris upped the advantage to 38:20. CBA worked the deficit down to 40:25 but Marius Valinskas came off the bench for 5 straight points and the host team was up 45-:25 at the break.

The third quarter saw Volodymyr Markovetskyy score 4 points for Zalgiris while Wang Xiaoyi picked up 5 points for CBA, which could not cut the deficit closer than 18 points. And Zalgiris led 60:35 after 30 minutes.

The advantage was 25 points – 65:40 – on another score from Valinskas. Jose Perez came off the CBA bench for 5 points and the gap was 65:47. But the Zalgiris bench remained being productive and kept CBA from getting any closer.