UTENA, Lithuania – A final quarter blitz has seen hosts Juventus cruise out to a comfortable 86-67 victory over guests Baltai on Friday night.
With the game still poised to go either way going into the last 10 minutes, Karolis Petrukonis and Darius Pakamanis provided the driving force in a 21-12 final quarter blow that would lead to a final score that was not truly reflective of how close the game had been.
Pakamanis picked up 11 points and Petrukonis 12.
Topping scoring for Juventus was Zydrunas Urbonas with 16 points.
Arguably coming into the game it was the low-lying Baltai with more on the line with the possibility of sharing the wooden spoon with the Liepaja Lauvas still looking ominous.
For Juventus there was nothing but pride to play for with the top five positions in the league already confirmed ahead of the playoffs.
With that in mind, it was the Zalgiris farm club coming out the hardest in the opening 10 minutes with Jonas Maciulius picking up an early seven points before Latvian junior representative Kaspars Vecvagars sinking a three-pointer with nine seconds to play to give Baltai a two-point lead.
Maciulis was the only visitor to make it into double figures, ending the game with 16 points.
Having picked up just two points in the opening frame, Gediminas Maceina added another eight in the second quarter as Juventus worked their way out to a four-point halftime lead.
Maceina ended with 12 points.
With Maciulis hitting a jump shot three minutes into the second half, the lead had been cut to three points.
But just as soon as it had been dragged in, it would balloon back out as Roman Gumenyuk scoring the next six points to take the pressure off Juventus.
Gumenyuk went on to finish the game with nine points, five of which would come at the free-throw line.
The lead did not come under threat for the remainder of the night as Juventus eased out to 19-point win that sees them remain in sixth place in the standings.