Zalgiris Sweep Lietuvos Rytas

14 May 2012

Marko Popovic and Aleksandar Trifunovic - Zalgiris Kaunas 2012
Croatia international Marko Popovic, here receiving instructions from Zalgiris coach Aleksandar Trifunovic, was Lietuvos Rytas' executioner in Game 3

It's been a very good year for Zalgiris Kaunas.

That was confirmed on Sunday when the Lithuanian giants, who went 21-1 in the Lithuanian league (LKL) regular season, capped a perfect run in the play-off championship with a 90-84 triumph over rivals Lietuvos Rytas.

The win completed a 5-0 run in the post-season and gave Zalgiris the title.

After getting a bye in the Quarter-Finals, Zalgiris overcame Rudupis in a couple of hard-fought encounters in the Semi-Finals, 81-74 and 89-81.

They then stormed to the LKL championship with three more wins over Lietuvos Rytas.

Kaunas won the opening game, 71-56 and then took a 2-0 lead with an 86-76 victory in Vilnius.

The Zalgiris fans were able to celebrate on Sunday after their six-point triumph.

In Game 3, Aleksandar Trifunovic's team got 20 points from Croatian sharpshooter Marko Popovic, 19 from Tomas Delininkaitis and 14 from Robertas Javtokas.

Paulius Jankunas had a game-high 10 rebounds to go with his six points for Zalgiris.

"Thank you to the basketball players, club staff, administration," said Trifunovic, whose team also won the Baltic League title.

"Many thanks to the fans who are just wonderful.

"Their support is unique because it is natural.

"They go for there is nothing here, so I am very pleased to see so many happy people.

"Now, I hope only to celebrate and relax."


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