Pieno Zvaigzdes pull away in final minutes

Photo: Martins Silis

LIEPAJA ‒ Pieno Zvaigzdes entered the playoffs as the highest-ranked team, but had to work forced to work hard in the first leg of the Eight-Final tie against Liepaja/Triobet.

Although the Lithuanian side registered a seemingly easy 92-79 victory, the winners built the the advantage over the last five minutes.

 

Despite being on the receiving end of an 11-2 run at the start of the game, Pieno Zvaigzdes managed to finish the opening quarter with a 26-18 lead, with Aliaksandr Kudrautsau scoring eight points in the period.

Liepaja/Triobet had fallen behind by double digits in the second quarter, but a 12-4 spurt closed the gap to 46-44 at the halftime break.

Pieno Zvaigzdes stayed in front throughout the third quarter, but Ivars Timermanis kept the game close, as the hosts cut the gap to a single point (67-66) before the final period.

Liepaja/Triobet had tied the score on multiple occasions in the final quarter, but the visitors from Pasvalys broke the 74-74 deadlock by outscoring the hosts 18-5 in the last five minutes to clinch the win.

Evaldas Kairys led all scorers with 20 points and also had six rebounds for Pieno Zvaigzdes, Arturas Jomantas scored 17 points and grabbed eight boards, while Rolandas Alijevas added a double-double of 10 points and 10 assists.

For Liepaja/Triobet, Arnolds Helmanis had a team-high 18 points, Ivars Timermanis scored 15, while Lauris Blaus added 12 points and six rebounds.