Zalgiris Win Baltic Basketball League

30 April 2012
Mantas Kalnietis - Zalgiris Kaunas
Mantas Kalnietis and Zalgiris Kaunas won the Baltic League for a third straight time

Zalgiris remain the leading force in the Baltics after beating rivals Lietuvos Rytas to win the Baltic Basketball League.

The Kaunas outfit trounced Siauliai in the Semi-Final, 117-64, and then prevailed in title showdown with their opponents from Vilnius, 74-70.

The win was a third on the trot in the BBL for Zalgiris, who got 19 points from Lithuania international point guard Mantas Kalnietis and 11 apiece from Mindaugas Kuzminskas and Marko Popovic.

Zalgiris trailed by seven points in the first quarter but overcame the deficit and went in front by double-digits before holding on at the end.

Renaldas Seibutis, one of the leading players in the Lietuvos Rytas side, was carrying some knocks and didn't play against Zalgiris since the club has the VTB United League Final Four (2 May) and LKL play-off games coming up.

Lietuvos Rytas take on CSKA Moscow in the Semi-Finals of the VTB competition.

"We most importantly, avoided injuries," Lietuvos Rytas coach Aleksandar Dzikic said.

"This season has remained a very important fight for the VTB United League and the Lithuanian Basketball League.

"If any of our leaders are hurt, then we risk getting them back for the most important games."

Lietuvos Rytas had won against VEF Riga, 89-61, in the other Semi-Final

Maccabi To Meet Cedevita

Maccabi Tel Aviv rolled to an 82-60 victory over Buducnost to reach the Adriatic League Final.

Awaiting them in Monday's title showdown are Cedevita Zagreb, who downed Partizan Belgrade 68-56 in the other Semi-Final.

"We had almost a full week to prepare for this game (against Buducnost)," Maccabi coach David Blatt said.

"We haven't had that luxury all season - not even close.

"When we get a day and a half, we're pretty happy.

"We had seven days to prepare and as we all know, someone created the world in seven days."

Blatt also had kind words for Buducnost.

"You should never just look at one game, but the whole body of work," he said.

"And he (Buducnost coach Dejan Radonjic) and the team have done great work. Along the same line, Cedevita has done the same, plus. If they have qualified for the (Turkish) Airlines Euroleague, that's just an unbelievable accomplishment.

"I've said before, what a wonderful job coach (Drazen) Anzulovic has done and what a great club that is. The way they have built it from the ground level, that's a model for teams anywhere to do things the right way."

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