Zalgiris U18 win ANGT Kaunas once again! 0

U18 Zalgiris Kaunas will return to the Euroleague Basketball Adidas Next Generation Tournament Finals once again as the ANGT Kaunas champion after fending off U18 CFBB Paris 62:57 in the final game at Zalgirio Arena.

Zalgiris’ home arena has been good to the club which has never lost an ANGT qualifier in the building with 20 straight wins dating back to the 2011-12 season. Rokas Jokubaitis led the way for two time European continental champion with 17 points, 8 assists and the game-deciding three-pointer. The hosts side, which won its fourth straight qualifying tournament, having last lost a qualifying game in the ANGT Siauliai final in 2012-13. Zalgiris, which also won the 2011-12 qualifiers in Kaunas, also got 8 points, 12 rebounds and 2 blocks from Grantas Vasiliauskas in victory.

CFBB, which won the 2010 ANGT title under the name U18 INSEP Paris, lost in the final against Zalgiris despite 19 points from Joel Ayayi.

The teams got off to a nervous start as neither could execute very well on offense though Zalgiris got three-pointers from Ignas Sargiunas and Lukas Uleckas in grabbing a 8:2 lead early on. An Ivan Fevrier trey finally started the CFBB offense going and an Yves Pons layup made it 9:10. A Martynas Arlauskas triple helped push the lead back to 6 points – 15:9 – before a Ayayi’s long ball knotted it at 15:15. Zalgiris had the lead 19:15 after 10 minutes.

Five quick points from Ayayi to start the second quarter had CFBB down 20:22 before two three-pointers from Rokas Jokubaitis helped Zalgiris push the margin out to 30:22. A Vitalijus Kozys three-point play had Zalgiris ahead 35:26. CFBB fought back into the game with the final 6 points of the first half to trail 32:35 at intermission.

CFBB could not execute on offense early in the second half and watched as Zalgiris opened a double digit lead 44:34 with Erikas Venskus’ basket. And Lukas Uleckas added a three-pointer as the advantage swelled to 50:36. Fevrier tried to get back into the game and scored to bring CFBB within 40:53 after three quarters.

An Arlauskas three-pointer to start the fourth quarter made it 55:40. Then it seemed like there was a lid on the basket for Zalgiris, which could not score and watched as Ayayi and Fevrier combined for 12 points in a 17:3 surge to cut the deficit to 57:58. But Jokubaitis made a free throw and then nailed a huge three-pointer with 49 seconds left for the final 62:57 scoreline and the victory.