Neither side came out of the gates firing, so halfway through the first quarter only two points separated the two teams. However, Valmiera managed to end the period on a higher note and were up ahead by seven.
The Estonians closed in before halftime and it wasn’t until the third quarter that Valmiera were finally able to run away with a double-digit advantage.
The hole just grew deeper, and the margin reached 20 points mid-way through the quarter, as TLU Kalev were unable to respond to the Latvian barrage.
TLU Kalev now face an uphill battle, as they visit Valmiera on the 24th of February with an 18-point deficit for the return leg.
Armands Skele was the top scorer for the Latvian side, as he accounted for 19 points. Martins Laksa added 18 to the tally, while Lauris Blaus ended the game with 14 points. Janis Kaufmanis was good for 11 points.
Johnny Berhanemeskel was by far the top contributor for TLU, as he tallied 20 points for the home side. Ivo Van Tamm was the only other player in double-digit scoring for TLU Kalev, as Dominykas Milka ended the game with 9 points and rebounds each.