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V. Kariniauskas on Wolves Twinsbet’s first QF match: “Thank God we managed to win”

Wolves Twinsbet Vilnius began their Betsafe-LKL playoffs campaign on a strong note, securing a victory in their first quarter-final game against BC Neptūnas Klaipėda with a score of 91:84.

The second match is scheduled for Wednesday (May 15) in the port city of Klaipėda. Another win in this match guarantees Wolves Twinsbet a spot in the semi-finals.

This playoff victory holds historical significance for the Lithuanian capital’s team. In their inaugural season, they suffered an unexpected loss to CBet Jonava in the quarterfinals. Last year, the Wolves were unable to advance past the quarterfinals, losing both games of the series and missing out on post-season awards.

The weight of this previous defeat still looms over the team, as acknowledged by Wolves Twinsbet player Vaidas Kariniauskas. He mentioned that some players, who were part of the team last season, vividly recall the disappointment and have eagerly awaited the start of this year’s playoffs. This lingering memory might have affected the team’s performance in the initial faceoff against BC Neptūnas.

“Typical first playoff game. Even from last year, you could already feel the excitement for this team. Everyone has been waiting for that game and this series probably since then because last year those who were playing here were a bit unlucky. Thank God we managed to win, but I don’t think we played well,” remarked V. Kariniauskas immediately after the match.

Wolves Twinsbet took an early lead, establishing a 13-point advantage (35:22) in the opening minutes of the second quarter. However, BC Neptūnas staged an impressive comeback with a 17-2 run, seizing the lead for the first time in the game – 39:37.

“We tend to rely on holding a 10-point lead and wait for someone else to finish the game for us. But it doesn’t work like that,” reflected V. Kariniauskas, pondering the team’s slip in performance. “We need to earn those extra 10 points ourselves and maintain our momentum. With a deep roster of 12 players, we must sustain our good play. Today, we stopped playing and they capitalised on it.”

When asked about the strategy to secure a ticket to the semi-finals in Klaipėda, the Wolves guard outlined the key points.

“We need to execute the things we usually do well and add a little more energy,” said V. Kariniauskas.

(Photo: Elvis Žaldaris)