Credit: BNS
Credit BNS

Bitci Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz suffered a third consecutive defeat after a 68-72 loss against Zalgiris Kaunas. After the game, newly-appointed head coach Neven Spahija admitted that he expected better basketball from his team.

Player of the Game
Lukas  Lekavičius
EFF
23
Lukas Lekavičius
Points 13
Accuracy 4-7
Rebounds 2
Assists 9

"I'd like to congratulate Zalgiris, they deserved to win more than us," Spahija said after the game." Our second half was way better than the first one. We fought more, defended better, but we committed the same mistake offensively from game to game. We have to play better."

Asked about the struggles in possessional basketball, Spahija admitted that it's one of the things he's trying to work on.

"Exactly what you said – we have to play better 5-on-5 basketball. We have to share the ball and screen people. Sometimes the ball stays in the hands of our guards too long. This is not the way to play basketball," Spahija noted.

Despite having such 3-pointers experts like Rokas Giedraitis, Simone Fontecchio, and others, tonight, Baskonia made only 31% of their threes (9 out of 29). What's the reason behind this?

"I cannot say anything about earlier because I came here only 2 weeks ago," Spahija answered. "I want (the players) to take open shots, just like we had at the end of the game. How to get there? It's a problem. Every time someone gets open, we have an extra dribble. We have to cut it."

With 2:28 left, the score was tied at 63, but then Lukas Lekavicius made a solo performance scoring eight points and clinching the win for Zalgiris. 

Spahija said that he put his best defender on the Lithuanian point guard, but the mistakes were costly.

"We had Lamar on him, who is the best our 1-on-1 defender. Unfortunately, he made some mistakes, and we gave up some easy points," the head coach noted.

Steven Enoch started the game with 11 points in the first quarter. However, Baskonia's forward didn't capitalize on the good beginning and finished the game with 13 points in total.

"We wanted him to continue like that, and we didn't do anything to stop him," Spahija said. "It's part of the game. Probably Zalgiris adjusted to what we were doing, and he didn't continue the same way he started."

"My job here is to find the way how to play more consistently. What we are doing good and how to do it more consistently. Steven's game is part of that", the Croatian coach added.

Finally, asked about the progress team has made during two weeks with him as a head coach, Spahija was very clear.

"Honestly, I expected a little bit more. I expected a little bit more", Spahija concluded.

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2022-01-10
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Kauno Žalgiris
Vitorijos Baskonia
48%
28/58
Field goals
41%
28/68
36
Rebounds
34
18
Assists
15
8
Steals
9
89%
8/9
Free throws
60%
3/5
88
Efficiency
75

Best players

Lukas  Lekavičius
13 PTS
4/7 FG
4/4 FT
Steven  Enoch
13 PTS
6/10 FG
1/1 FT
Tyler  Cavanaugh
9 REB
9 DREB
0 OREB
Steven  Enoch
10 REB
7 DREB
3 OREB
Lukas  Lekavičius
9 As
3 TO
26 MIN
Jayson  Granger
6 As
0 TO
30 MIN
Lukas  Lekavičius
23 EFF
60% 2P%
50% 3P%
Steven  Enoch
23 EFF
67% 2P%
0% 3P%