For three quarters, Alba Berlin managed to hang around in the game thanks to three-pointers. In the last quarter, it was the long-range shots that sunk the German ship.
Lietuvos Rytas hit four three-pointers in five possessions to escape with a victory in the Eurocup game on Tuesday. The Lithuanian side beat Alba Berlin 86-75 in Vilnius and grabbed the second win in three games of the Last 16 stage.
The Serbian guard Aleksandar Rasic hit four threes and finished the game with a season-high 16 points for Lietuvos Rytas. Derrick Allen led the visitors with 16 points as well.
Alba relied on long-range shots as they were short of two starting-five forwards, Torin Francis and Yassin Idbihi, who did not come to Lithuania due to injuries.
This tactics worked for three quarters in which Alba made 9 three-pointers with 15 attempts and had a four-point lead with a quarter to go despite desperately losing the fight under the basket.
But then, things turned around. The home side hit four three-pointers in the period of 2:16 and gained the biggest lead in the game with 5 minutes to go, 76-67. Lietuvos Rytas shattered Alba 27-12 in the last quarter.
The visitors finished the game with a season-high 10 tree-pointers, but managed to hit only 1-of-8 in the last quarter.
Lietuvos Rytas won the rebounds 38-19 against the short-handed German side. The big men were the biggest strength of the home team. Mindaugas Katelynas scored 13 points and grabbed 6 boards, Jonas Valanciunas finished the game with 12 points, 9 rebounds and 3 blocks while Predrag Samardziski had 11 points making all five field goal attempts.
The round of Last 16 is at the half-way point in Group L as three teams share a 2-1 record. The Berlin side is the only one of four teams yet to win with three games to go before the knock-out stage.
The sides will meet again next Tuesday in Berlin and Alba will be looking for a desperate win to stay in the fight for a place in the next round.