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Wolves Twinsbet loses heartbreaking SF Game 5, will still fight for a Bronze finish

The Vilnius derby semifinals series in the Lithuanian Basketball League (Betsafe-LKL) has officially ended with BC Rytas emerging victorious, defeating Wolves Twinsbet 92-86 (23-28, 25-17, 27-19, 17-22) in the Twinsbet Arena.

The troops of Giedrius Žibėnas won the series 3-2 and will compete for the gold against BC Žalgiris Kaunas. Nedas Pacevičius and Wolves Twinsbet will compete for the bronze versus 7bet-Lietkabelis Panevėžys. The Betsafe-LKL finals series will start on June 5, while the fight for third place is scheduled for June 4, Tuesday.

Game 5 started evenly for both squads until Marcus Foster heated up and gave Rytas an early 8-5 advantage. Artūrs Žagars quickly tied the score with a split at the free throw line after a Tre’Shawn Thurman bucket (8-8), but Justin Gorham nailed a three-pointer to make it 11-8. The lead switched hands multiple times until Regimantas Miniotas and Rasheed Sulaimon scored to extend the Wolves Twinsbet lead to 24-17. Rytas managed to narrow the gap to 23-26, but still trailed 23-28 after the first quarter.

Wolves Twinsbet held on to a 30-25 lead, but RJ Cole and M. Foster evened the score at 30-all. Arnas Beručka and Arnas Velička exchanged three-pointers, and slowly BC Rytas began to pull away to 46-41, but R. Miniotas responded and scored inside, making it 43-46. R. Miniotas also sank his free throws, but M. Foster responded with his own basket. After two quarters, Wolves Twinsbet still trailed 45-48.

After halftime, R. Miniotas tied the score at 48-48, but the momentum shifted in favor of BC Rytas. M. Foster and Martynas Echodas led their team on a blistering run, building a 13-point advantage at 68-55. Wolves Twinsbet tried to claw back into the fight as V. Kariniauskas nailed a three-pointer (64-72), but Lukas Uleckas closed the third quarter with his own three-point basket, making it 75-64.

In the final quarter, Wolves Twinsbet fought to stay within striking distance. A. Žagars sank his free throws, but Rytas’ Javin DeLaurier scored an easy basket to keep it 79-69. R. Miniotas then scored another bucket plus the bonus free throw, and E. Žukauskas nailed a three-pointer to draw closer at 75-79. Midway through the quarter, M. Foster answered with a bucket and free throws, but R. Miniotas responded with a clutch basket, leaving the Wolves still trailing 77-83.

A. Žagars further chipped away at the Wolves’ deficit (79-84) and R. Miniotas sank a pair of crucial free throws (81-86), but Margiris Normantas’ three-pointer extended the gap for Rytas to 89-81. With just a minute left in the game, Wolves Twinsbet were behind 83-90, but E. Žukauskas scored on an and-one play plus the free throw, making it 86-90.

In the ensuing plays, Gytis Radzevičius made two key free throws to ensure the win for Rytas as the Wolves failed to convert on multiple possessions until the final buzzer.

R. Miniotas stood out from the ranks of Wolves Twinsbet, notching 25 points (9/9 2PT FGs, 7/7 FTs), grabbing 9 rebounds, and collecting 36 EFF, his best game in a Wolves jersey.

Wolves Twinsbet: Regimantas Miniotas 25 (9 rebounds), Artūrs Žagars 14, Tre’Shawn Thurman 13, Eigirdas Žukauskas 9, Rasheed Sulaimon 8, Vaidas Kariniauskas 7, Arnas Beručka 5, Kristupas Žemaitis 3, Christian Mekowulu 2. Vitalijus Kozys did not play.

BC Rytas: Marcus Foster 27, Martynas Echodas 20 (13 rebounds), Justin Gorham 11, Gytis Radzevičius 11.

(Photo: Rokas Lukoševičius / LKL)