SAN JUAN (Puerto Rico) - Raudondvaris Hoptrans (LTU) defeat Lausanne in the final 21 - 18 to win the Turismo San Juan Challenger on October 15.
Top-seeded Raudondvaris Hoptrans dominated from the opening game and never looked back. Aurelijus Pukelis put up 20 points over Pool phase as they 2-0 with victories over Kaunas and Warsaw.
They faced off against Hangzhou in the Quarter-finals, a stern matchup against Vladimir Trajkovic and Goran Vidovic. However, it was another deft result in their favor as Paulius Beliavicius and Pukelis scores 6 each while Sarunas Vingelis recorded a game-high 8 points to take them to the Semi-finals. It was the gritty Paris side next and the result remained the same. Beliavicius and Pukelis combined for 13 to lead them to victory and a spot in the finals.
The Dusan Bulut-led Lausanne (SUI) were in hot form in pool phase, picking up wins over St. Louis and Hangzhou. Bulut and Marco Lehmann combined for 17 in the opener before a 9-point effort from the Serbian handed them the win against Hangzhou.
Lehmann put up 9 points in the Quarter-Final against Warsaw while Bulut added 7. Westher Molteni grabbed 8 rebounds in the winning effort as well.
They went up against Princeton next who had put the competition on notice after beating home team San Juan in the Quarter-Finals. While Henry Caruso and Jerome Desrosiers combined for 15 points, an incredible 14-point showing from Bulut would hand his side the win as they booked themselves a battle against Raudondvaris.
Raudondvaris Hoptrans 21 - 18 Lausanne Sport LS
While it was a back-and-forth game to start off, Lausanne held a slight advantage. Lehmann and Molteni put up back-to-back twos to hand them a 4 - 7 advantage. Modeste Kumpys ignited the rally back before Pukelis joined in on the scoring. With just a point separating the sides, Raudondvaris took off.
Three consecutive twos from the Lithuanian side granted them a 16 - 11 lead. Lausanne weren’t done though. They rallied back to tie the game at 18 apiece. With just over a minute to go, Kumpys handed his side the lead. It was Aurelijus Pukelis who would call game with two buckets in a row as Raudondvaris would leave San Juan as winners.
MVP - Aurelijus Pukelis
Pukelis was a one-man wrecking crew in San Juan. He led the event in Player Value with 44.4, points scored with 42 and he grabbed the second most rebounds with 22. His incredible performance led his side to victory and granted him the MVP award.
Raudondvaris, alongside Lausanne and Paris earned themselves a spot at the FIBA 3x3 World Tour Hong Kong Masters held on November 25 - 26.
1. Raudondvaris Hoptrans (LTU)
2. Lausanne Sport LS (SUI)
3. Paris (FRA)
4. Princeton (USA)
5. Calabasas (USA)