Lietkabelis vs. Neptunas / Lithuanian Basketball League – In the play-off for the 3rd place in the Lithuanian Basketball League that is played on three won games, the 4th-placed Lietkabelis (20-16) has surprised the 3rd-positioned Neptuans (25-11) in the first game and in that way has taken from it the home-field advantage. Out of five head-to-head played this season Lietkabelis had won two, while Neptunas won three such games. Begins: 12.06.2018 – 17:50 CET
In the finish of season Lietkabelis won just three times in last 10 rounds but in the play-off’s quarter-finals it relatively easy eliminated Siauliai by 3-1. In the semi-finals they lost to reigning champion Zalgiris, which also competes in the EuroLeague, by sound 3-0. That was a rerun of last year’s final (Lietkabelis lost by 1-4) and they had no chance at all. They even lost at home by 15 points difference (79-94), while in Kaunas they lost by sound 69-93 and 64-83.
Probably it wasn’t a totally bad thing for them as they had more time to prepare for the series that decides the 3rd-placed team. They won away by 83-69 and took a lead 1-0. The most efficient was veteran D. Lavrinovic with 19 points, who also had 6 rebounds in 18.5 minutes on the court, while Croatian Mavra scored 14 points. After Juskevicius moved to Galatasaray, who averaged 13.2 points, the most efficient and the only guard who scores double-digit number of points is Peineris with his 12.6 points per game on average.
Probable lineups Lietkabelis: Williams, Jasaitis, Peineris, Tarolis, D. Lavrinovic
Neptunas plays for the 14th consecutive time in the LKL play-off. In last four seasons it played in two finals and lost both times to Zalgiris. It’s result in last 10 games of the regular season was balanced, 5 wins and 5 loses, but the third place was never put in question. After they eliminated Pino Zvaigzdes by 3-1 in the series, they put-up an excellent resistance in the semi-finals to Lietuvos Rytas but despite winning the first game played away they lost the series by 2-3 and didn’t reach the final, in which they played the last time in 2016.
After three consecutive triumphs over Lietkabelis where the last one took place on 18 April and which was won away after over-time 94-89, they lost at home the first game in the series and it is not unlikely to again not qualify for the EuroCup. Zelionis was the best player with 16 points and 6 rebounds, while Delninkaitis scored 14 points and had 5 rebounds. Seibutis is the team’s first scorer with average 13.3 points, and besides him Zelionis also averages double-digit number of points 12.1.
Probable lineups Neptunas: Delninkaitis, Sibutis, Kiselius, Zelionis, Galadikas
Lietkabelis – Neptunas PICK
The key players in both teams are deep in the 4th decade of their lives it wouldn’t be surprise if the series extend to maximal five games. It is an open question which team is fresher but we would play on handicap on the visiting team, which put up a fierce resistance to Rytas in the semi-finals.
Pick: Neptunas +4.5
Odds: 1.83 at williamhill (down to 1.75 can be played)
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