Siauliai knock out defending champs

Photo: bkventspils

VENTSPILS ‒ The defending BBL champions Ventspils will have to let go of their crown after being knocked out by Lithuanian side Siauliai in the Quarter-Final round, despite taking a 71-68 victory in the second leg of the tie at home in Ventspils on Saturday evening.


The Latvians could not overcome the six-point deficit they accumulated on the road, despite leading by as many as nine points in the second half. Siauliai will meet Pyrinto in the semi-final.

Ventspils entered the second half with a favorable 47-40 advantage and a one-point lead on aggregate and increased the gap to nine after Janis Timma threw down a dunk to start the third quarter.

However, spurred on by a couple of three-pointers from Rokas Giedraitis and Travis Leslie, Siauliai came back to cut the deficit to 56-55 before the final period.

With five minutes remaining in the game, Harvey Grant’s lay-up made it 68-62 for Ventspils, which would’ve been enough to force overtime, but a couple of timely baskets from Derek Needham saw Siauliai hold on to their first-leg lead.

Needham finished the game with a game-high 18 points, Travis Leslie scored 16 points and added six boards, while Vytas Sulskis had 11 points for Siauliai.

Meanwhile, Ronalds Zakis led the hosts with 14 points, Harvey Grant scored 13 points and grabbed seven rebounds, with Akselis Vairogs contributing with 10 points.