Butautas marks Lietkabelis debut with a win; Siauliai secure King Mindaugas Cup berth
The arrival of coach Ramunas Butautas ended a five-game losing streak for Lietkabelis, who triumphed 100-91 in a high-scoring affair against Pieno Zvaigzdes in Panevezys on Tuesday evening.
The former Lithuanian national team head coach took the reins just a couple of days ago, but managed to end the side's poor spell after nearly two month drought in the Betsafe LKL.
Lietkabelis, now 11-6, celebrated their last victory in the domestic championship back on November 12, when they defeated Nevezis. The Gediminas Petrauskas-coached Pieno Zvaigzdes dropped to 6-11.
Adas Juskevicius paced the scoring for the winners with 16 points and 6 assists, Darjus Lavrinovic added 13 points and 5 rebounds, while Lukas Aukstikalnis chipped in with 12 points in just 9 minutes of action.
Trevon Hughes led all scorers with a game-high 21 points for Pieno Zvaigzdes, with Nikita Balashov and Vyacheslav Bobrov adding 16 and 15 points, respectively.
In the other game of the day, Siauliai snatched up the last remaining ticket to the King Mindaugas Cup after defeating Vytatutas 79-73 to improve to a 6-11 mark and secure a Top 8 finish midway through the Regular Season.
Playing at home, Siauliai had built a convincing 59-42 lead heading into the final frame, but Vytautas used a big fourth-quarter fightback to get within two possesions down the stretch.
Laurynas Birutis had a stellar performance, finishing the evening with a game-high 20 points, 7 rebounds and a pair of blocked shots. Arminas Urbutis added 18 points and 6 boards, while Nick Zeisloft also entered the double-digit territory with 13 points.
Still awaiting the arrival of the Ball brothers, the eight-man Vytautas were paced by 16 points and 9 rebounds from Regiminatas Miniotas, with Justas Sinica and Tomas Dimsa contributinh with 14 points apiece.