Tenerife hold off Rytas in Vilnius

2022 03 15 20:55
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VILNIUS (Lithuania) - Sasu Salin has been on fire on the road all season long, and Rytas Vilnius learned all about it on Tuesday. The Finnish shooting guard led Lenovo Tenerife to a big win which seals the first place in group for the 2017 champions and also pulls SIG Strasbourg along to the Quarter-Finals.

Tenerife defeated Rytas 83-64, moving to 5-0 with a game remaining in this phase. SIG Strasbourg will finish second no matter what happens on last Gameday, because they own the tiebreaker over Rytas Vilnius in case of a 3-3 tie.

Turning point: The moment the plane took off from Spain. Sasu Salin knew he was about to have another big game on the road in the Basketball Champions League, and he already had five three-pointers made after the first half, leading Tenerife to a 52-26 lead.

There was no magical comeback in the second half, Lenovo Tenerife made the game a one-way street, opening up a 29-point lead early on in the third quarter to erase any hopes of the home fans.

Game hero: Sasu Salin had 23 points in 24 minutes of work, hitting 7-of-13 shots from beyond the arc. Salin has made the most three-pointers in the BCL this season with 45, and he'd be in second place if we counted only his seven road games.

Rytas got 12 points from Tanner Leissner, but will regret losing that big lead in Strasbourg last week. If they held on to a bigger win, they would've had a chance to advance on last Gameday, but with a slim two-point win, they couldn't take the tiebreaker over the French side, meaning SIG Strasbourg will join Tenerife in the March 25 Quarter-Finals draw.

"We came out and had a lack of focus. We had a lot of mental let-downs, we gave one of the best shooters in the (Basketball) Champions League open shots, we weren't tough to start the game and you can't get down to a team like that, that early especially. That set the tone. Once you get down versus them, it's really hard to come back." - Tanner Leissner, Rytas Vilnius

"Definitely a big disappointment for our team, for our fans. We can lose the game, but not like that. The attitude for the game which we showed in the very first quarter was very wrong. We missed leadership, we missed good faces, this is how we entered the court. The reasons why we lost the game before the game? We must search. We must look to the mirror. Everybody. Players and coaches. This time I disagree that it was a tactical loss, because to play without spark, without fire, without energy, it's very strange." - Rytas Vilnius head coach Giedrius Zibenas

Source: rytasvilnius.lt