Pocius finds hot hand, Zalgiris takes third in VTB League 0


Martynas Pocius had a perfect performance from beyond the arch and pulled Zalgiris to a 78:72 victory against Khimki in the VTB United League Final Four game for third place in Kaunas on Friday evening.

Pocius ended the game with 26 points as he hit all 5 three-pointers, Marcus Brown added 15 and Dainius Salenga and Mantas Kalnietis collected 12 and 10 respectively.

Khimki’s Keith Langford had a team-leading 20 points, Vitaly Fridzon scored 13, Timofey Mozgov finished with 11 and Raul Lopez netted 10.

The Russian side with two Lithuanians left Kaunas winless as Robertas Javtokas finished the game with 2 points, while Paulius Jankunas ended up not scoring against his former long-time club Zalgiris.

After four in a row points from Keith Langford, the visitors from Russia had already built a four point advantage in the 28 minute of the game – 53:49. But Pocius started his one-man-show, scoring three clutch three pointer and two shots from closer in a span of 6 minutes to bring Zalgiris in front 75:65.

Khimki players tried to hold on to the last straw by fouling, but the Lithuanians played smart basketball and sealed a safe victory at the end to take the bronze medals in VTB United League’s opening season.

“We played fairly well today. If not for some bad snippets, the view on the court would be very good. We defended well and played team basketball with many assists and few turnovers. We lost the battle under the boards quite heavily, but playing against a team that is taller and more athletic, using this defensive system, something had to be sacrificed,” Zalgiris coach Ramunas Butautas said after the game.