VILNIUS, Lithuania – A 25 point final quarter from the Dolphins has seen them pull off the most unlikely of comebacks to defeat Perlas 79-76 on Saturday evening.
Down by 12 points going into the final quarter, the Dolphins were able to restrict their hosts to just 10 points over the final 10 minutes to set up the memorable victory.
Both teams came into game, having both recorded just the solitary victory to date, suggesting a close fought encounter was about to unravel.
But that was not to be the case in the opening quarter or in fact the first 30 minutes.
After the Dolphins scored the first points of the night, it took them the best part of six minutes to score their next. In the mean time Rudupis had opened up a healthy 11 point lead, which would still stand at six points at the end of the quarter (20-14).
After finally finding some momentum in the final minutes of the first quarter, the Dolphins were able to carry this over into the second, cutting Rudupis’ lead to just two points with three and a half minutes remaining in the first half. However, this is as good as it would get for the Dolphins, with Rudupis going on a late surge to open the lead back up to 11 points (47-36) when the half-time buzzer sounded.
Unlike in the evening’s other game, Perlas were not about to relinquish their lead, even with the Dolphins offering more resistance on defense. With a quarter left to play it still looked like the hosts were cruising to a straightforward victory, ahead 66-54.
However, the Dolphins had different intentions with the tight game many had predicted finally unraveling in the final quarter.
The appropriately named Fred Drains, drained three quick three-pointers to open the final quarter, assisting his team on a 14-3 scoring run to see the Dolphins right back into the game (69-68), with just over five minutes still to play.
Drains was not done yet, sinking another crucial three pointer with just over two and half minutes showing on the clock, giving his side the lead at 73-72.
It was a lead that they would not relinquish as Joakim Kjellbom helped out Drains by scoring his side’s final six points to see the Dolphins pull off the unlikeliest of victories 79-76.
Drains ended the night as the game’s leading scorer with 22 points. Kjellbom was next best along with George Gervin as they both finished on 16 points.
Giedrius Staniulis was the best of the hosts with 13 points.
Perlas now have plenty of time to rue their misfortunes, not taking to the court again for a BBL fixture until Oct. 28 when they host Rock.
The Dolphins also look forward to a long break, with their next game scheduled at home against Nevezis on Oct. 27.