Valmiera deny any comeback attempts, advance to Quarters

Photo: Edgars Vaivads

VALMIERA – The game in Valmiera was a little bit like a roller-coaster ride, as the margin went up and down, back and forth. However, it was the home side Valmiera/ORDO ultimately taking the 87-81 victory against AVIS Rapla and advancing to the Quarterfinals with a combined 19-point advantage.

 

It was a nip-and-tuck affair from the earliest stages in the game, as the lead changed hands six times in the first five minutes alone. The first tangible advantage Valmiera reached was six points but it was immediately rebuffed with three consecutive successful possessions by Rapla.

There was no separation in the first quarter, but it seemed that AVIS Rapla had the upper hand at the start of the second one, as they got off to an 8-0 start. That lead didn’t stand long though, as the Latvians responded with a 14-0 run to finish the quarter and go up by double digits.

The roller-coaster continued after the break, and it was now Rapla on the rise, as they got back into the game, bringing the deficit to just one point. With the 13-point deficit back from the first leg of the series, it was still a very steep hill to climb and Valmiera put any hopes and chances to bed with a terrific fourth quarter, going to win the game 87-81.

Martins Laksa had a great game for the winning side, as he dropped 23 points and chipped in with 6 boards and 4 assists. Despite his turnover problems, Damier Pitts was also a vital performer today, scoring 15 points and dropping 7 dimes. Arturs Berzins added 12 points, while Ervins Jonats flirted with a double-double, scoring 11 and raking in 9 rebounds. Lauris Blaus ended the game with 10.

As for AVIS Rapla, Thomas van der Mars gave it his all and was terrific, tallying 26 points and 12 rebounds to end his amazing Triobet BBL campaign. Indrek Kajupank added 14 points, while Martin Paasoja and Rasham Suarez were responsible for 12 and 11 points, respectively. The latter also added 8 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals.