It was a neck-to-neck affair for the most part of the opening frame, yet with two minutes on the clock, the home side managed to set themselves up with a 7-0 run that just raised the noise in the arena.
It was a pretty calm second quarter as well, as neither side managed to tear the game wide open. Nevertheless, a cold-hearted three-pointer by Valmo Kriisa pushed the gap to 8 before halftime.
Liepaja/Triobet came firing back in the third quarter and a 7-0 run cut the gap to just one. But that’s when TU/Rock started knocking down the long-ball. They got 3 shots from downtown to fall and pushed the margin back to double-digits.
Liepaja didn’t manage to give the Estonians a run for their money in the final minutes and will be going back home with a 10-point deficit.
Janar Talts was the only figure in double-digit scoring for TU/Rock, as he tallied 12 points and 6 rebounds. Valmo Kriisa added 9 points, while Augustas Peciukevicius, Karolis Petrukonis and Joosep Toome ended the game with 7 apiece.
Lauris Blaus scored 15 points and tore down 8 rebounds for the Latvians, while Andrius Mazutis joined him with 10 points and 6 rebounds. Edgaras Zelionis finished the game with 7 points in his account.
TÜ/Rock head coach Gert Kullamäe:
„It was a classic playoff game – close, low score and emphasis on defense. We played well in defense and managed to keep their key players from scoring too much. But we also made many easy mistakes and missed too many easy shots. That in mind we have to be satisfied with the ten-point lead. But to advance to the next round we have to shoot better and reduce turnovers.”
Liepaja Triobet head coach Uvis Helmanis:
“As games go, it was ugly basketball. For us to have a chance in Liepaja we have to shoot much better. Today some our main scorers ended up in single digits. I’m glad it was only the first half and we are certainly going to play better at home.”