Zalgiris will meet Lietuvos Rytas in the final, as the club from the capital also defeated their semi-final opponents in the other part of the tie.
Aleksandr Capin scored 16 points and dished out 6 assists to lead Zalgiris, Martynas Pocius and Mantas Kalnietis collected 14 each, Marcus Brown added 12 while Tadas Klimavicius was just shy of a double-double finishing with 11 points and 9 rebounds.
“The result does not reflect the spirit of the game. I think, we had prepared well for our opponents, there was a good atmosphere in the team and the players know that we have to do everything to recapture the cup,” said Zalgiris coach Darius Maskoliunas.
Siauliai didn’t look anything like themselves – a fast paced team, that likes to shoot a lot of threes was forced to slow the tempo down and play an unfavorable half-court game.
“It’s a pity that we have left the spectators disappointed. We didn’t play well at all. It’s hard to say, what was the reason for the loss, but it might have been the fact that many believed that we could defeat Zalgiris,” told Siauliai coach Antanas Sireika, who has worked with Zalgiris in the past as well.
Mindaugas Kuzminskas had a team-high 14 points and Deivydas Gailius was the only other Siauliai player to reach double-digits with 12. Marius Prekevicius, Derrick Low and Raitis Grafs all added 8 points.
“We could try to make many explanations, but it’s not worth it. We weren’t men this evening, coming on to the court scared, we didn’t fight, didn’t defend and didn’t show our real face,” Siauliai’s player Deivydas Gailius said after the game.
Zalgiris netted 7 long-range attempts in the first half alone as Marcus Brown and Aleksandr Capin found the bucket at least a couple times each. Despite the score being even in the middle of the first quarter, Zalgiris was the first to get away from a scoring draught of the first period, that finished 12:9 in favor of the Kaunas’ club. Two players – Mindaugas Kuzminskas and Marcus Brown had already collected 8 points each at that moment.
Zalgiris was already up by double-digits as the game was into the first couple minutes of the second quarter at 22:12 and led by a 16 point mark at the end of the half.
The second part of the game was nothing, but a formality: Dainius Salenga ended up playing 16 minutes, Marcus Brown – 19.
“The game wasn’t as easy as the result might suggest. We were really motivated to prove wrong those, who believed Siauliai was the favorite of the game,” said playmaker Mantas Kalnietis.
Sarunas Vasiliauskas was the last player to come off the bench for Zalgiris, but also managed to score a couple of points to become the last of twelve players on the squad to put his name on the score sheet.
Zalgiris hit 14 three-pointers out of 31, while Siauliai had made only two at half-time.