Lietuvos Rytas will be taking an 11-point advantage to Donetsk in the second leg of the Eurocup quarterfinal duel between the sides after defeating the Ukrainian side 76-65 (18-9, 23-22, 20-18, 15-16) at home in Vilnius on Tuesday evening.
Although Donetsk entered the playoffs as a higher seed, having finished atop of their Last 16 group, Lietuvos Rytas was still labeled as the pre-match favorites to prevail in the tie.
The Lithuanian team was left with only one true center in Jonas Valanciunas with Predrag Samardziski sidelined for a month with an ankle injury.
However, it didn’t stop Lietuvos Rytas from dominating the game right from the tip-off. The hosts took an early double-digit lead and stayed ahead for the rest of the game, despite not managing to obtain a sustainable lead for a longer period of time.
Steponas Babrauskas led the Vilnius side with 15 points including three very important three-pointers in the second half of the game, Jonas Valanciunas scored 14 points and added 10 rebounds, while Arturas Jomantas finished the game with 13 points.
Donetsk’s big man Ivan Radenovic was the top-scorer for the visitors with 16 points, as Ramel Curry, Vule Avdalovic and Vojdan Stojanovski ended up with 10 points each in a losing effort.