Lietuvos Rytas will return from Poland with a close overtime defeat against Asseco Prokom in the VTB United League, having lost 73-74 (11-9, 25-21, 6-14, 21-19, 10-11) after a thrilling end to the game.
The Lithuanians dropped to 4-3 in the league standings, but still hold the third place in the group, while the win saw Asseco Prokom improve to a 3-4 record.
The meeting in Gdynia was the first duel in an official setting between Jonas Valanciunas and Donatas Motiejunas, the two most promising Lithuanian prospects.
Motiejunas was by far the more impressive player on the court, collecting 16 points, including the game-winning shot, as well as grabbing five rebounds.
Having played about 10 minutes less than Motiejunas, Valanciunas finished the game with five points, seven rebounds and two blocks.
With the game tied at 63-63, Tyrese Rice had a chance to win the game for Lietuvos Rytas, but missed the buzzer-beating lay-up at the end of regulation.
Asseco Prokom started the overtime much better than the visitors from Vilnius, taking a 68-63 lead with just under three minutes left in the extra period, extending it to 72-66 after Motiejunas nailed two free-throws.
However, Lietuvos Rytas wasn’t ready to give up just yet, as the visitors launched a 7-0 run to go in front 73-72 with 17 seconds on the clock, but Motiejunas nailed the game-winner with five seconds left to give the Polish side the win.
Motiejunas was the leading scorer for Asseco Prokom with 16 points, Oliver Lafayette scored 14, while Julian Blassingame ended the game with 13 points, eight assists and five rebounds.
For Lietuvos Rytas, Tyrese Rice collected 19 points and dished out seven assists, Renaldas Seibutis and Steponas Babrauskas chipped in with 12 points each, while Lawrence Roberts added 11 points and six rebounds.