Rapla fall, Liepaja/Triobet improve to 2-0

Photo: Tanel Meos

RAPLA – Tyco Rapla was involved in yet another nail-biter. This time, however, they ended up finishing on the wrong side of the tracks, as the Estonians stumbled against Liepaja/Triobet 72-76 (18-21; 22-20; 18-26; 14-9) on Tuesday evening in Group C.

 

Liepaja/Triobet now hold 2 victories without a loss, while Rapla's record dropped to 3-2.

Tyco Rapla and Liepaja/Triobet exchanged runs multiple times in the first quarter with the home side tipping the game off with a 7-0 start. However, the lead soon vanished, as Gints and Janis Antrops accounted for 13 points of the 15-0 run by Liepaja. Then again, the hosts scored 11 consecutive points and were once again in front, before Dwayne Johnson scored 5 points to close the quarter and give Liepaja/Triobet a 21-18 advantage.

As soon as the visitors amassed a tangible, 9-point lead, the home side responded with a run and managed to cut the deficit to four before halftime.

For the greater part of the quarter, neither team could catch a break – with just over a minute remaining, the teams were separated by just three points. However, Liepaja closed the quarter with six consecutive free-throws and pushed the margin to 9.

Careless ball-handling by the visitors resulted in six turnovers and Rapla were back in the game, trailing by just four. However, they wasted some grand opportunities at the free-throw line to cut into the lead. While the hosts did close in to three points, Dwayne Johnson put the game away with his free-throw.

Dreadful free-throw shooting could be named as the main reason why the Estonians suffered a loss today, as only 10 of 23 (43%) of their free-throws reached the target.

Rapla have now lost two straight games, but their record is still solid with 3-2. Liepaja/Triobet, on the other hand, have won both of their games and are still perfect with a 2-0 record.

Gints Antrops delivered an impressive performance, as he knocked down 3 three-pointers and totaled 21 points to go alongside his 6 rebounds. Lauris Blaus added 14 points and 9 rebounds, while Dwayne Johnson and Janis Antrops contributed 13 apiece.

For Rapla, Rait-Riivo Laane was the top-scorer, as he had 16 points and 7 assists. However, the guard made good on only two of his nine three-point attempts. October MVP Kristers Zeidaks and Martin Paasoja contributed 12 points each, while Andre Parn ended the game with 9.