LKL Round 11 Recap
Lietkabelis escaped with a narrow victory Wednesday, defeating LKL league rival LSU-Atletas by a 76-72 margin in Kaunas. With the win Lietkablis skips Atletas in the standings, entering Round 12 at #10. Lietkabelis was led by Ryan Olander’s 17/11 night battling 7’3 Lithuanian center Tomas Urbonas- the league leader in rebounds/blocked shots at 8.9/3.0 respectively. Olander finished with 17 points, 11 rebounds and a team-leading 18 efficiency rating countered by Urbonas’ 9 points, 12 rebounds and 3 blocked shots for an efficiency rating of 20. Olander was able to draw Urbonas out of the middle, knocking down two first half 3’s and secured a major defensive rebound battling his opposition in the final two minutes. Lietkabelis as a team shot 47% from deep while holding the trigger-happy LSU-Atletas to a lowly 32%. In a game that featured 25 lead changes, with no team gaining more than a 6 point advantage at any time, the play of the game came on a defensive effort late in the fourth quarter.
Up one with 2:15 remaining in the game, #9 Maya Kariniauskas stripped #4 Carol Babkauskas on a clear path to the basket leading to an easy fast break layup for #77 Jacob Gintainis. Babkauskas had a step on Kariniauskas with a chance to put his team back on top, a true game-changing play. The layup put Lietkabelis up three and they never looked back. Kariniauskas later blocked a 3-point attempt with 42 seconds on the clock to keep Lietkabelis up for good. An offensive foul on the ensuing in-bound gave LSU-Atletas another look from distance, but the shot rimmed around into the hands of Olander. Missed free throws coupled with a rainbow 3-pointer kept the game interesting until the final buzzer. All things considered it was a league win on the road- huge for any team, in any league, in any country. Play resumes Wednesday, December 18th when Lietkabelis hosts #9 Dzukija in Panevezys. Lietkabelis could move into the #9 spot with a win, keeping in mind the top 8 qualify for the playoffs. Dzukija features American shooting guard James Lewis, a 2010 Fresno Pacific graduate who played for the Maine Red Claws in the D-League and most recently for Los Mochis in Mexico.
Round 11 action can be watched here: