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NIKE IJT Madrid 2008, report: Lietuvos Rytas 71-85 AXA FC Barcelona
May 3, 2008
AXA FC Barcelona qualified for the first time ever to the finals of the Nike Junior Tournament after a big 85-71 win over Lietuvos Rytas in the deciding game of Group A. AXA stayed perfect and improved to 3-0 while L. Rytas dropped to 2-1 and finished its way in the games. AXA enjoyed for the first time in the tournament the presence of Nihad Dedovic, and he showed why he was needed posting 24 points while Konstantine Tomaradze added 23 in great accuracy and Daniel Perez hit 14 making eight of them in the deciding run. Kadzevicius carried L. Rytas with 23 points, eight rebounds and six assists, Augustas Peciukevicius added 13 with six assists as well and Osvaldas Martulionis scored 12 with eight rebounds.
Dedovic didn't find his place yet in the first quarter but Tomaradze was everywhere and with eight points pushed AXA to a 25-14 lead after ten minutes. Dedovic found his hand and scored 11 in the second quarter but it was played better this round, as Peciukevicius carried his team back to the game and Martulionis's long range shot made it just a six point game at half time, 41-35. L. Rytas stayed in the game but wasn't able to take the lead into its hands. Martulionis sank another big hit from long range to make it 52-50 at the end of the third, but AXA was still on top. L. Rytas tied the game and replied for every AXA basket to stay tied, but then came Perez and with back-to-back three pointers the lefty point guard made the change. He added two more from the line as AXA took a 72-62 lead to secure the win, despite a big fighting Rytas team.
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