It was a tale of two halves in Udine, Italy on Tuesday as Snaidero hung on to defeat visiting Lietuvos Rytas 75-72 in the opener of their two-game eighthfinal series on Tuesday. Snaidero will hope it doesn't regret squandering leads of up to 16 points late in the first half when the rematch to end the series takes place in Vilnius, Lithuania next week. Still, despite missing top big man Jacobs Jaacks, the hosts were able to beat back a late L. Rytas rally to win. Damon Williams led the way for Snaidero with 20 points and 12 rebounds. Jerome Allen added 17 and Christian DiGiulomaria 15 for the winners. Andrius Slezas led the L. Rytas comeback and finished with 18 points, while Arturas Jomantas put up 17 and Marijonas Petravicius 11.
The lead changed four times in the opening minutes until Allen popped his team's second three-pointer to make it 10-6. DiGiulomaria, who had landed Snaidero's first triple, now added a layup to the lead. Petravicius got 3 points back for L. Rytas, but Allen and Williams combined on a new 6-0 spurt that shot Snaidero way in front, 18-9. When Joel Zaccheti and Kristaps Valters shared 4 points, Snaidero had a 22-10 lead. L. Rytas needed to react, and did, as Joao Paulo Batista, Arturas Jomantas, Tomas Delininkaitis and its own newcomer, Ivan Koljevic, combined on a 2-8 finish run that cut Snaidero's advantage to 24-18 after 10 minutes. Koljevic's early triple in the second quarter kept the visitors rolling to within 26-23 on a layup by Jomantas. DiGiulomaria had other ideas, however, and to an earlier layup, he now added his second and third strikes from downtown, back to back, for Snaidero's first 8 points of the quarter. When Allen followed with a layup, the hosts were ahead by double digits again, 34-23, and kept going from there. As the Snaidero defense locked up L. Rytas, Williams and Zacchetti poured in the next 5 points to extend the run to 13-0 and the lead to 39-23. Slezus stopped the bleeding with a triple for L. Rytas, as he and Jomantas combined on the 12 points in the last 2 minutes of the half for the visitors. L. Rytas wasn't stopping Snaidero, however, so even when the lead was trimmed to single digits, Valters got loose to end the second quarter with a triple and send the hosts to the break ahead by 49-37.
L. Rytas got serious on defense after intermission, holding Snaidero scoreless for most of 3 minutes whle Petravicius scored 5 points to get the visitors back in the game at 49-42. Zaccheti drilled a three to stop Snaidero's slide, but not its troubles. Larry O'Bannon restored the double-digit lead for Snaidero at 54-43, but Jomantas, Petravicius, Slezas and Tomas Delininkaitis unloaded a 0-10 blast that knocked the hosts on their heels. Mike Penberthy punched in a triple to let Snaidero breathe again, then Williams, Allen and DiGiulomaria got to the line for 4 free throws. But after Batista finished the third quarter with a layup, Snaidero was clinging to a 61-57 lead. It didn't last long, either. Batista, Jomantas and Janis Blums, with a triple, scored the first three baskets of the final quarter as L. Rytas vaulted ahead 61-64. DiGiulomaria saved Snaidero then with a triple. Allen soon put the hosts again, 68-66, with 4 points in a row, but L. Rytas kept coming and tying it up, the third of three times at 72-72 on a Kojevic's second consecutive basket. Williams soon put Snaidero back in front, 75-72, while he and DiGiulomaria came up with a big blocked shots down the stretch to preserve the victory.
Tuesday, January 30, 2007