Final: Lietuvos Rytas lifts ULEB Cup trophy!
Lietuvos Rytas won its first European title and wrote a new page in basketball history by beating Alfa Makedonikos 78-74 in the ULEB Cup Final in front of a sellout crowd of 6,500 at the Spiroudome in Charleroi, Belgium on Tuesday. L. Rytas also earned the right to take part in the 2005-06 Euroleague, as well as becoming the third ULEB Cup titlest after Pamesa Valencia and Hapoel Migdal Jerusalem. More than 1,000 fans from Lithuania celebrated the victory that made L. Rytas just the second team ever to lift a continental trophy. Tyrone Nesby and Simas Jasaitis led the winners with 16 points apiece while Robertas Javtokas had 14 for Rytas and became the MVP of the game by adding 5 rebounds and 2 blocks. Tomas Delininkaitis and Gintaras Einikis also played a key role, each with 9 points. Pete Mickeal led Makedonikos with 24 points and 9 rebounds. Slaven Rimac added 14 and Manolis Papamakarios 12 for their team. L. Rytas came with a scoring reputation, but ruled on defense, holding Makedonikos to 26 points in the game's first 24 minutes. The Makedonikos shooters hit only 1 of their first 13 three-pointers. L. Rytas led by as many as 27 points, 57-30, late in the third quarter. But when Makedonikos started making shots midway through the fourth quarter, things got really exciting. Rimac hit the last to make it 77-74 with 12 seconds left, but L. Rytas held on with a final free throw by Javtokas for the victory.