Lietuvos Rytas missed the chance to book its spot in the Eurocup quarterfinals, losing 78-82 (21-20, 21-15, 16-25, 20-21) to Lokomotiv Krasnodar at home in Vilnius and complicating their chances of advancing from the Last 16 stage.
The Russian side was on the brink of elimination, trailing by double-digits in the first half of the game, but the visitors managed to bounce back with a strong third quarter, knocking down one three-point shot after another.
Ali Traore led Lokomotiv in scoring with 18 points, Sergey Bykov had 15, while Jeremiah Massey finished the game with 13 points and 10 rebounds for the visitors from Kransodar.
Although Jonas Valancunas recorded a double-double of 17 points and 10 rebounds, also adding three blocks, the 19-year-old Lithuanian, who was named FIBA Europe Young Player of the Year, failed to cope with Traore defensively.
Renaldas Seibutis was the only other Lietuvos Rytas player in double-digits with 12 points, Lawrence Roberts added nine, while Mindaugas Katelynas and Tyrese Rice finished the game with eight points each, with the latter also adding eight assists.
Lietuvos Rytas’ faith will be decided in Treviso, where the Vilnius side will face Benetton next week, as a loss in Italy would eliminate the Lithuanians from the competition, while a win would open up a spot in the quarterfinals.