Maks&Moorits secure first victory

Photo: Ain Liiva

VALGA ­– After a disappointing season in the Baltic Basketball League (BBL) last year, Valga Maks&Moorits started the 11th BBL season on a high note, taking care of TLU Kalev at home with a 86-75 (26-15; 24-27; 20-17; 16-16) victory on Tuesday evening.

 

The home side took control of the game from the get-go, jumping ahead by seven with only a minute and a half played. While their opponents soon answered with a small run of their own, Maks&Moorits kept a safe lead throughout the game. After eight consecutive points from the home team, the lead reached 13 points only to be cut to 11 with a buzzer-beating shot by Ivar Tulit.

TLU Kalev were not ready to give up just yet and managed to close in into single-digits – the teams were separated by eight points at halftime – 50-42.

After the break, the margin shrank even more, as the visitors got two baskets and reduced the gap to only four. However, that is as close as they came – Maks&Moorits steadily improved their lead back to double-digits and at the end of the quarter were once again up by 11.

The home didn’t let up in the final quarter and safely coasted to the finish line to end up atop with a 86-75 lead.

Reinis Strupovics was the leading scorer for Valga with 27 points, while Jurijs Aleksejevs added 19 points and 14 rebounds. Kristo Saage chipped in with 17 points.

Thomas Droney had an impressive outing for TLU Kalev, which, however, wasn’t sufficient for the victory. The American amassed 30 points and 10 rebounds and led the game in scoring. Reimo Tamm had troubles at the free-throw line but still managed to collect 14 points. Robertas Grabauskas finished the game with 12 points to his name.