TU/Rock edge Valmiera/ORDO in first leg

TARTU – The outcome of the Triobet BBL Semi-Final tie between TU/Rock and Valmiera/ORDO remains in the air after the first leg of the match-up ended in a close 68-64 win for the home side on Tuesday evening.

 

Yet to lose a game in the Play-Offs, the Estonian side will have a slender four-point cushion in the second game, which will be played in exactly a week’s time at the Vidzeme Olympic Center

In a positive start of the game, TU/Rock rode the hot hand of Gert Dorbek, who collected 16 points in the first two quarters, to take a 42-33 lead at the halftime break, with the visitors struggling to find a rhythm offensively.

However, the double-digit lead the hosts held midway through the third period soon disappeared, as Valmiera/ORDO mounted a comeback to cut the deficit to 55-53 before the final frame.

Although the guests never took the lead, they did not allow TU/Rock to break away either, finishing the game with a manageable four-point deficit.

Dorbek finished the game with a game-high 20 points on 7-of-12 shooting, while Brian Harper and Tanel Sokk collected 13 and 10 points respectively.

For Valmiera/ORDOArmands Skele had 16 points and seven boards, Kwamain Mitchell scored 13, while Lauris Blaus chipped in with 13 points.

Gert Kullamae, head coach of TU/Rock: "It was a tough game from both sides and as expected neither team gave anything away easily. We got in front by 10 points, but lost the rhythm after that. I’m pleased with our defense today. Altogether we have to be satisfied with the win and second half awaits in Valmiera. This could possibly become a one shot series – one shot can decide who will go to the Finals."

Roberts Stelmahers, head coach of Valmiera/ORDO: "It’s always nice, but hard to play in Tartu. I’m happy for the team that we came back from a ten-point deficit and showed character. Tartu used their strengths and are a good team that has played together for years. For home game we will have more fans and we’ll see how it goes in Valmiera."