Eichfuss shocks Ventspils, as Rock advance

KEDAINIAI – Timo Eichfuss hit a three-pointer with the sound of the final buzzer, as Tartu Rock surprised the defending Baltic Basketball League champions Ventspils by winning the second Vikonda BBL Cup semifinal 71-68 to join the hosts Nevezis in the final.

 

On the previous possession, Akselis Vairogs had hit a game-tying shot from beyond the arc for the Latvian side, but the joy of Ventspils players didn’t last long, as the pre-game favorites will now have to fight for third place against Prienai in a rematch of last season’s BBL Finals after Eichfuss denied an overtime with a triple of his own.

During the first quarter, neither team managed to go up by more than three points, as the lead changed hands nine times, before settling down with Ventspils at 17-16 after the first ten minutes.

The story was very much the same in the second quarter, but it was the Latvian team once again with the edge at the half, leading 32-29.

However, Rock caught fire in the middle of the third period, as Timo Eichfuss, Gert Dorbek and Vincent Simpson nailed a three-pointer each to give the Estonians a 48-42 edge.

The Estonians maintained a slight lead for the majority of the final quarter, but Ventspils fought until the end and were one successful defensive possession from forcing an overtime.

Lithuanian guard Augustas Peciukevicius had a game-high 15 points and 8 rebounds for Rock, Uros Lukovic collected 12 points, but the hero of the day was still Timo Eichfuss, whose last triple put his point tally at 11.

Ronalds Zakis was the key man for Ventspils with 13 points and 7 rebounds, while Lorenzo Williams and Janis Timma collected 10 points each, with the latter also adding 7 boards.