Credit: zalgiris.lt
Credit zalgiris.lt

Zalgiris Kaunas put up a fight in their away game against Olympiacos in Piraeus but ultimately succumbed to the hosts after a very bad second half.

Player of the Game
Konstantinos  Sloukas
EFF
19
Konstantinos Sloukas
Points 17
Accuracy 7-10
Rebounds 5
Assists 2

Currently standing at 0-4, the Lithuanian team must make up for lost ground in the EuroLeague regular season as soon as possible, or else the playoff race will be lost for good.

Mantas Kalnietis, one of the most experienced players on the team's roster, is perfectly aware of the situation and in a brief discussion with BasketNews, pointed to the direction that the Lithuanian powerhouse should take from now on to bounce back.

"We should have given a much better fight in the second half," the 35-year-old admitted. "Olympiacos started the second half with aggressiveness and speed. As you saw, we had a lot of problems defensively and they scored too many open shots."

We made some stupid mistakes defensively and offensively, but we collapsed after that. That's the main reason why we lost by so big a margin."

Nevertheless, he's still optimistic ahead of the future: "Right now, the situation is bad. But we want to show character for our fans, and we won't give up.

We shouldn't make excuses. We have to get back to work and understand each other better as soon as possible."

But generally, he's trying to make us play with more aggressiveness and spirit, elements that are missing from our game until now."

The Lithuanian international returned to Zalgiris after five years outside Lithuania, playing for AX Armani Exchange Milan, ASVEL, and Lokomotiv Kuban. At the age of 35, he was asked to lead the ensemble with his experience.

Although he doesn't hide that he had missed being in his country, he's still unsure whether his career will end where it started.

"We'll see. I don't know what's going to happen. I am very happy to be back home, but I wish I could help them more."

For the Kaunas-born athlete, playing abroad for quite some time was a great experience as a player and a person.

"I saw different countries, coaches, made a lot of friends. Finally, I realized how much I had missed my country," Kalnietis concluded.

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Pirėjo Olympiakos
Kauno Žalgiris
47%
31/66
Field goals
40%
23/57
41
Rebounds
33
15
Assists
18
4
Steals
3
101
Efficiency
63
45%
17/38
2-pointers
48%
16/33

Best players

Konstantinos  Sloukas
17 PTS
7/10 FG
0/1 FT
Emmanuel  Mudiay
19 PTS
6/14 FG
5/7 FT
Georgios  Printezis
7 REB
4 DREB
3 OREB
Marek  Blaževič
8 REB
3 DREB
5 OREB
Thomas  Walkup
4 As
0 TO
23 MIN
Mantas  Kalnietis
7 As
3 TO
18 MIN
Konstantinos  Sloukas
19 EFF
80% 2P%
60% 3P%
Emmanuel  Mudiay
16 EFF
57% 2P%
29% 3P%