Red Star lost in Kaunas against host Zalgiris 78 – 76 in the first round of EuroLeague 2017-2018, but result could be different if Taylor Rochestie didn’t miss a three point shot in the last second of the game.
After Milko Bjelica made three points shot in the last 15 seconds till the end, Red Star only had -2, and red and white players managed to steal the ball and had opportunity to make winning or at least to even the score, but Rochestie wasn’t able to score three point shot.
Hosts were playing better in the crucial moments of the match and they have home court advantage because 14.000 people came to cheer for their team and to help them win in the opening game of EuroLeague season.
The best scorer in Red Star was veteran Pero Antić with 17 points, while Milko Bjelica added 15 and Rochestie 10. In the winning team, Paulius Jankunas was leading the team with 15, Kevin Pangos added 14 and Edgaras Ulanovas with 10 points. Serbian guard Vasilije Micić finished the match with 7 points, 4 assists, 3 rebounds and 2 steals.
In the end of the first quarter Lithuanian team was leading 15 – 13, and that quarter announced that the game will be tough and interesting. In the first ten minutes coach Dušan Alimpijević’s steam was shooting 3 of 10 for the three points.
Second quarter was more efficient for both squads. While in the first, Red Star and Zalgiris scored together 28 points, in second 10 minutes just host scored that amount of points and at the end of that quarter was 43 – 40 for team from Kaunas.
Winner of the third quarter was Red Star even though they had problems with faults only after three minutes in that half they finished it leading by 4 (53 – 57), and in the last quarter Zalgiris after 5 minutes was leading by 7 and only let Red Star to get -2, not allowing them to win or to try to win in the overtime.
After the game, Red Star coach Alimpijević told that his team allowed Zalgiris to score easy baskets: “This is basketball. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. In this game, details were having big role in deciding the winner. We allowed Zalgiris to score some easy baskets. We didn’t protect our basket in the first half as we should” (said young coach after his team lost their first game in this season).