The home side pulled out a hard-earned victory in Vilnius to advance to the semi-finals of the Euroleague Qualifying tournament.
Wait, didn’t EuroBasket end a couple of weeks ago? The Latvian team lived and died by the three while Renaldas Seibutis came up big to give the Lithuanians victory. Lietuvos Rytas took the lead early and tried to make home advantage count, moving into a double-digit lead at the end of the first half, but it was the beyond the arc work of VEF Riga that kept this game close.
Seibutis carried the load with 23 points for the home side as they faced a somewhat tougher than expected challenge from Riga. The visitors kept it close and were just 73-69 down with 1.40 on the clock but Rytas had the tools to finish them off. A 7-2 run to close the game, iced by an Omar Cook three-pointer, proved decisive and the Lithuanians are one step closer to making the regular season.
Lietuvos Rytas will now play EWE Baskets Oldenburg on Thursday. Wednesday sees the other two opening round games with Khimki Moscow Region facing Belgian champions Telent Oostende and Czech champions CEZ Nymburk taking on Turkish runners up Banvit Bandirma.