Rytas Vilnius take top spot in Group H

2021 12 21 21:10

In the final two Group H games, Rytas Vilnius secured the top spot in the group, as well as their spot in the Round of 16, while Besiktas Icrypex claimed the last Play-In spot that was up for grabs.

Rytas were able to stun back-to-back champions Hereda San Pablo Burgos with an 84-77 win on the road, completing the season sweep and sending the Spanish club to the Play-In.

This was Burgos' biggest home loss in the BCL and the loss also ended their 13-game home winning streak in the competition.

Speedy Smith sunk two clutch three-pointers down the stretch for Rytas, the first one giving them a 79-77 lead with 1:13 left and the second extending the lead to 82-77 with 53 seconds left, which put the game away.

Smith finished with 18 points (season high), 3 rebounds, 6 assists and 2 steals, and also knocked down four of the team's seven total threes.

"I'm just really excited for this team," said Smith. "We played together all night, we didn't get rattled. Honestly, I don't even know what to say right now, I'm just so excited for the team because we worked really hard for these opportunities and you can see tonight that we were gelling together in the greatest way right now."

Maurice Ndour also chipped in 17 points and 8 rebounds (4 offensive) and finished with a game-high efficiency rating of 21.

Rytas had a 19-9 advantage in offensive rebounds and scored 22 second chance points compared to only nine for Burgos.

"The guys showed belief today on the court," said head coach Giedrius Zibenas. "We kept under control [Xavi] Rabaseda, we kept under control [Tyrus] McGee and [Vitor] Benite, the main guys, so big job was done defensively by our players, but job is not over. We continue in second round, we're now waiting for opponents."

Dejan Kravic led Burgos in scoring with 11 points and 4 rebounds, while sharpshooter Vitor Benite struggled with his shot, finishing 0-of-3 from three-point with 10 points and 2 rebounds.

"In a game that is so close, they made two tough three-point shots and they won," said Benite. "When two good teams are playing for this important situation, it's details, so in the end, they had the chance to make two three-pointers and I think they won because of that."

Source: rtasvilnius.lt