Milka's debut inspires TLU Kalev in upset

TALLINN – Dominykas Milka was simply sensational in his debut for TLU Kalev, as the Estonian side came from behind in the fourth quarter to hand one of the Group A leaders Valmiera/ORDO an upset, triumphing 80-79 after a hard-fought battle down the stretch at the Kalev Spordihall on Tuesday evening.

 

The Lithuanian center put together an impressive performance off the bench, scoring 27 points and grabbing eight boards, as TLU Kalev improved to a 5-5 record, while Valmiera/ORDO dropped to 7-2.

The hosts began the game with an 8-0 run after catching the visitors from Valmiera unprepared, but a timeout by Gatis Melderis put things right, as Valmiera/ORDO responded with a nine unanswered points.

Nevertheless, TLU Kalev stayed in charge for most of the first half, taking a 42-40 lead into the halftime break. Valmiera/ORDO had seemingly managed to break the game in their favor in the second half, but it proved to be far from the end of things.

With two minutes remaining in the game, Arturs Berzins put the cherry on top of a 7-0 run by converting on a jumper to push Valmiera/ORDO’s advantage to 79-72.

However, Johnny Berhanemeskel responded with a quick bucket and excellent defensive pressure by TLU Kalev resulted in a handful of turnovers by the visitors, allowing Thomas Droney to score three baskets in a row in the final 80 seconds, giving the hosts the winning edge.

Berhanemeskel scored 17 points, grabbed six rebounds and came up with three steals, while Droney added 11 points.

For Valmiera/ORDO, Laksa and Berzins scored 14 points apiece, Janis Kaufmanis collected 13, while Ervins Jonats and Davis Rozitis finished the game with 12 points each.