Once again B.C. Zalgiris Kaunas has asserted its dominance in the Lithuanian LKL. They have just won their sixth straight league championship, bringing the organization’s grand total to 14 gold trophies overall. It is an impressive feat indeed, that the Lithuanian powerhouse has not lost a league championship since 2011. They have been the league’s top team for a some time now and they have also has some reasonable success in regional competitions as well. Zalgiris dropped only one game in their Best-of-Seven Finals series against Neptunas Klaipeda. They polished off their opponents 97-70 in a convincing Game 5 victory.
Game 5 was about home squad simply outplaying their guests. Zalgiris dominated Neptunas in every statistical category, with the exception of blocks. Zalgiris’ bench outscored Neptunas’ reserves 20-41, giving their starters the ability to pace themselves better and remain productive for longer stretches.
Zalgiris came out guns blazing from the get-go and commanded an early 25-17 lead at the end of the first quarter. It was simply downhill from there for Neptunas as Zalgiris continued its solid execution and savvy defense. There wasn’t a point in the game where the defending champions were under any serious threat. By halftime, Zalgiris’ lead had ballooned to 54-31. Neptunas managed to outscore their hosts in the third frame 20-25, but it was not enough to put a dent into Zalgiris’ lead.
Jerome Randle led six other Zalgiris players to score in double figures with his team-high 16 points, in what proved to be an all-around balanced attack by the whole team. Brock Motum scored 13 points, while Renaldas Seibitus chipped in 11 points of his own. Daniel Ewing led Neptunas with his game-high 19 points, he found little help from his teammates in stemming the tide of the Zalgiris’ assault on the offensive end.
For now, Zalgiris continues to reign supreme over Lithuania’s LKL. Will another team be able to rise up and challenge them this 2016-17?