Nevezis triumphant despite Jekabpils' comeback

JEKABPILS – An action-packed start to Wednesday basketball, as Jekabpils rose to a late comeback, but were ultimately denied victory by Nevezis. The 74-78 victory hands Nevezis a four-point advantage in the return game.

 

Nevezis didn‘t wait around and rocketed ahead in the first quarter. After neck-to-neck opening five minutes, the Lithuanians closed down the defense and finished the quarter with a 14-0 run, giving the team a 16-point advantage right out of the gates.

Things weren‘t looking up for Jekabpils, and it was only Jurijs Aleksejevs who managed to really make a difference for Latvian side in the first half, as he scored 15 of the 25 points. Nevertheless, the margin still rose and the two sides entered halftime with 18 points between them.

A spurt early in the second half allowed Jekabpils to substantially reduce the deficit, but they were still facing an uphill battle with a double-digit spread on the table entering the final quarter.

Nevertheless, the game was far from over, as the Latvians rose like a phoenix and hurried to tie the game up. While Nevezis managed to regain composure, they were now up by just a couple buckets, and that was good news for Jekabpils who scored the final basket to cut the deficit to just four before the second leg.

The fate of this series will be decided in two weeks, on the 22nd of February in Kedainiai.

Jurijs Aleksejevs cooled down in the second half, but was succeeded by Rinalds Sirsnins, as both players ended up scoring 20 points. Roberts Stumbris chipped in with 17, while Janis Antrops ended the game with 9 points to his name.

Jermaine Love was the top scorer for Nevezis with 17 points, while Vaidotas Volkus added another 15. Ivan Smiljanic ended the game scoring 11, while Ignas Vaitkus had 9. The league's best playmaker Toni Prostran had a great night sharing the ball, as he dished out game-high 9 assists and added 7 points to the totals.