He’s baaaaack! Lithuanian Sensation Alonas Peciulis made his much anticipated return to CBL action after sitting out the majority of the season, and wasted no time in reminding everyone why he was the premier player in the U14 division last season by leading Gintaras to a high-pressure win against a talented Eastside Eagles in the U16 Eastern Conference clash.
Peciulis led all scorers with a game-high 22 points, but it was far more than the scoring alone that impressed. Now showing a new level of maturity in his game, Peciulis dominated the glass with 12 rebounds (7 on the offensive end) and 3 assists. His ball distribution appears to have improved significantly since last season and if his teammates were able to convert more of the opportunities he facilitated, Peciulis could well have finished with a ‘Lebron-esque’ triple-double.
Eastside Eagles were no easy matchup, by any measure. Led by the impressively athletic Moses Gordon (16 points), and a deep squad of resilient, hard working young ballers, the Eagles were in the game right up until the end, pushing ahead by 1, with just 7 seconds left in the game.
However, Peciulis saved his most impressive play of the day to when it mattered the most, catching the inbounds pass and driving full-court, hesitating in the front, court and losing his man off of a soft screen and pulling up for 3 with just 2 seconds left. The Eastside help came crashing in, fouling Peciulis and sending him to the line for 3 free-throws.
With the tension of both teams and the swollen onlooking crowd at its peak, Peciulis calmly stepped to the line and drained the first shot. Tied game. He then sunk the second shot, much to the delight of the Gintaras fans. Up by 1. Then for his final shot, he purposely fired the ball straight off the front of the rim, causing the ball to come straight back to him, which he then wrapped up and held as time expired. Smart play by an increasingly impressive player.
GAME MVP: Alonas Peciulis, Gintaras