Valga score high, edge Lietkabelis

VALGA – In the high-scoring Group B clash between undermanned Lietkabelis and Valga Maks ja Moorits, the game went down to the wire and was decided only in the final moments of the game, as the Estonians notched the 99-95 (21-34; 27-18; 24-17; 27-26) victory.

 

The game tipped off with both teams firing at all cylinders, as the teams set this season’s record for highest-scoring quarter. Although only three points separated the two sides halfway through the first quarter, Lietkabelis, led by Evaldas Zabas, who scored 13 of his points in the first quarter alone, turned everything around in just a minute, as they quickly amassed a double-digit lead.

Clearly, the game had yet been decided and the Estonians came hustling back in the second quarter. Although Lietkabelis fought fiercely, the home side eventually managed to crack single-digits and trim the lead to just four before the halftime break.

With a couple of minutes played, the home side finally managed to jump ahead with the help of a 6-0 sequence. Valga’s success continued and they soon found themselves ahead by seven points, but the margin was soon cut down to three.

Lietkabelis closed down the gap that had begun to grow in the final quarter with a small run of their own and were already breathing down their opponents’ necks, but two consecutive turnovers by Zygimantas Janavicius helped the Estonians regain control of the six point lead. Darius Griskenas cut the deficit in half, but Valga soon responded with a two-pointer of their own.

Evaldas Zabas forced a turnover and trimmed the lead to just two. Maks ja Moorits and Lietkabelis exchanged free-throws. With 20 seconds remaining, Kalvis Krumins missed both free-throws, but Noah Dahlman could not respond with a successful shot, thus giving the Estonians to put the game to bed with two more free-throws.

Edgars Krumins was unstoppable for the victors, as he scored 27 points, while banging down 7 rebounds. Jurijs Aleksejevs was close to a triple-double, as he excelled with 18 points, 10 rebounds and 7 assists. Reinis Strupovics contributed 17 points, while Viljar Veski ended the game with 10.

Evaldas Zabas was no less impressive for Lietkabelis, as he scored game-high 28 points. Darius Griskenas was responsible for 20 points, while Noah Dahlman added 16 points and 9 rebounds. Vytenis Cizauskas and Lukas Aukstikalnis were also in double-digits in scoring, as they had respectively 11 and 10 points.