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Wolves Twinsbet concedes bronze after Game 4 loss, finishes its sophomore season in fourth place

The battle for the bronze in the Lithuanian Basketball League (Betsafe-LKL) is officially over with 7bet-Lietkabelis from Panevėžys downing Wolves Twinsbet of Vilnius 98:87 (23:30, 25:21, 24:15, 26:21) on their home court to clinch the series 3:1.

Wolves Twinsbet started off with five straight points, but 7bet-Lietkabelis’ Djordje Gagic and Gediminas Orelik quickly replied to make it 5:8. Artūrs Žagars had a stellar first-quarter performance to boost Vilnius’ offense (21:12), with the Latvian spitfire dropping 11 points. Deividas Sirvydis was steadfast at the free-throw line and managed to bring his team closer (18:23), but by the end of the first quarter, the guests from Vilnius were ahead by 30:23.

Slowly but surely, the home team tried to chip away at the deficit, but the Wolves’ Tre’Shawn Thurman and Arnas Beručka both scored to restore the difference to double digits – 39:28. Žagars’ basket in the second quarter made life more difficult for Panevėžys – 41:28, but Gagic and Martynas Varnas had a scoring blast to catch up (36:41). The deficit between the two squads began to crumble until finally, 7bet-Lietkabelis was only trailing by two, 41:43. Gabrielius Maldūnas evened the score at 43-all, and Diante Baldwin’s bucket gave Panevėžys the lead – 46:45. At halftime, Wolves Twinsbet responded to the challenge to wrestle back the advantage and keep a slim three-point lead – 51:48.

The fight in the third quarter was quite even until Gagic scored from inside the paint to tie the score at 60-all. In the following Wolves possessions, consecutive baskets from Žagars and Miniotas (66:62) forced Panevėžys coach Nenad Canak to call for a timeout. This timeout resulted in a 7bet-Lietkabelis run to claw right back and surge ahead 67:66. This time, the end of the third quarter favoured the hosts as they led 72:66.

In the fourth quarter, 7bet-Lietkabelis’ perseverance continued to pay off as Gagic showed the way and Varnas contributed another three-pointer to extend the Panevėžys lead to 83:69. Although the men of Vilnius managed to revive their offense for a bit and trailed by just 84:95 with 2 minutes left, time was on the side of the hosts – they managed to keep control so as not to let this victory slip away.

Žagars (20 points, 6 assists) and R. Miniotas (22 points, 9 rebounds, 27 EFF) stood out the most from the ranks of the Vilnius club.

Wolves Twinsbet: Regimantas Miniotas 22 (9 rebounds), Artūrs Žagars 20 (6 assists), Tre’Shawn Thurman and Eigirdas Žukauskas – 14 each, Rasheed Sulaimon 7, Arnas Beručka 4, Kristupas Žemaitis, Vaidas Kariniauskas and Vitalijus Kozys 2 each.

7bet-Lietkabelis: Deividas Sirvydis 20, Djordje Gagic 19 (15 rebounds).

(Photo: Rokas Lukoševičius / LKL)