The new Betsafe LKL season has begun in a remarkable fashion. Teams are turning on the switch for the regular season and we already have an underdog company winning against the odds.
Predictions were right in last years basketball giants teritory. It was Rytas Vilnius and Zalgiris Kaunas easily rupturing their opponents.
Rytas had a lot changes this summer – new coach Donaldas Kairys, a lot of changes in the squad. Up until this game nobody could predict what this team is all about but foreigner leadership shined in a spectacular way.
Dynamic guard duo of Demetrius Jackson and Andrew Goudelock pushed the pedal and left Juventus Utena behind. Rytas started the season at home by making a celebration for their fans – 106:77.
Last years Betsafe LKL champion Zalgiris Kaunas also showed up for their game at home. One quarter of fight was not enough for Siauliai playing against such a basketball giant. Blowouts in two biggest cities of Lithuania were just inevitable – 86:53.
Things were way more interesting in Cido arena. Lietkabelis Panevezys have high ambitions for this season but their first official performance of the season went not as expected. Visitors CBet Prienai caught their opponents sleeping and jumped on Lietkabelis neck from the first whistle.
Lietkabelis were fighting but just could not find ways to go in front. Teams went in to halftime with CBet holding the lead 50:45.
After a cold shower in the locker room hosts mounted a 21:2 run and could have easily finished the game. That was not a plan for CBet. Regimantas Miniotas and Egidijus Dimsa left their hearts out on the court and a fantastic thriller in Panevezys ended 87:84 CBet victory.
Another upset win took place in Pasvalys. Nevezis Kedainiai jumped out to a 15 point lead in the second quarter and did not even let the hosts Pieno Zvaigzdes think about the victory. Nevezis held the lead up until the final whistle and celebrated an emphatic 82:72 win.
No question everybody was surprised by Domantas Vilys performance. 20 year old young blood scored 18 points and had the highest +/- rating from his team.
Neptunas Klaipeda changed a lot this summer. Team does not have any foreigners but Lithuanian fighting spirit gave them an edge in this game against Dzukija Alytus at home.
Teams went toe to toe until the fourth quarter. While Neptunas has a lot of size and less mobility, we can say the opposite about Dzukija. Neptunas tactical approach to the game proved successful as their veterans Simas Galdikas and Martynas Mazeika carried them in the clutch.
Neptunas held their ground against Dzukija Alytus and won 84:81.
Second round of Betsafe LKL is right up ahead. September 22nd CBet Prienai will host Rytas Vilnius. September 23rd Dzukija Alytus will try to hold of Zalgiris Kaunas and another unpredictable battle between the hosts Siauliai and Pieno Zvaigzdes Pasvalys. Second round will finish off on September 24th. Nevezis Kedainiai will try to cause another upset against Lietkabelis Panevezys at home.