Credit: LKL
Credit LKL

Rytas Vilnius defeated Lietkabelis Panevezys in a hard-fought battle, in Game 5 of the Lithuanian Basketball League finals, winning their 6th championship crown and their first in 12 years 79-76 (17-23, 18-21, 21-18, 23-14).

Points this season

Points made: 77,7
Accuracy: 44,3%
Place in standings: 15
Record max: 96
Record min: 50
Best scorer: Gediminas Orelikas

Coach Giedrius Zibenas' side captured the title with a total score of 4-1.

Despite the fact that Lietkabelis were holding the lead for the most part, Rytas fought back in the end of the third quarter and saw three domestic players (Margiris Normantas, Lukas Uleckas, Arnas Butkevicius) pave the way scoring-wise. 

On the other hand, Gediminas Orelik and Nikola Radicevic tried to give their team some air to breathe, but Panagiotis Kalaitzakis was terrible this time around. The Greek forward went scoreless on 0/7 from the field and a PIR of -6.

Powered by Dorde Gagic and Vytenis Lipkevicius, who combined for 19 points on 8/9 field-goals at half-time, Lietkabelis held a double-digit margin (38-28) after 16 minutes. Even when the guests went scoreless for more than two minutes, the only thing that Rytas could do was cut down the deficit from 13 (31-44) to 9 points (35-44). 

The hosts reacted in the third quarter, scoring 21 points and getting the most out of Gridziunas and Butkevicius. Rytas kept getting stops on defense and taking advantage of Lietkabelis' inability to pose a long-distance threat. 

A three-point shot from Margiris Normantas put the hosts ahead on the scoreboard after a long time (67-65) with five minutes left. 

Gediminas Orelik scored a big three-point shot to keep Lietkabelis afloat and Gabrielius Maldunas basked it up with a shot that gave his team the lead (76-75). Ivan Buva hit a couple of free-throws to make it 77-76 for the hosts, before Panagiotis Kalaitzakis missed a possible game-winner with eight seconds on the game clock.

Lukas Uleckas was fouled, but converted both free-throws to close the game for Rytas (79-76). Orelik had a chance to tie it, but his three-point shot almost at the buzzer missed the target. 

Rytas Vilnius: Margiris Normantas 15 (6/10 FG, 3 REB, 3 AST), Lukas Uleckas 14 (4/9 FG, 4/4 FT), Arnas Butkevicius 12 (6/12 FG, 0/4 FT, 5 REB), Kenneth Smith 9 (3/11 FG, 1/2 FT, 4 REB, 8 AST), Mindaugas Gridziunas 9.

Lietkabelis Panevezys: Gediminas Orelik 16 (5/8 FG, 3/4 FT, 5 REB, 6 TO), Nikola Radicevic 15 (4/8 FG, 6/6 FT, 7 AST, 0 TO), Gabrielius Maldunas 15 (7/9 FG), Kristupas Zemaitis 11, Dorge Gagic 10.

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