Valmiera/ORDO win the Triobet BBL Cup

VALMIERA – The trophy of the Triobet BBL Cup 2016 will stay in Valmiera, as Latvian champions Valmiera/ORDO outlasted fellow Latvian side Ventspils in a nail-biting finish to the Final and claimed a 66-64 victory after a Janis Kaufmanis game-winner.

 

The 26-year-old Valmiera/ORDO guard collected nine points, five assists and four rebounds, but it was the late show of brilliance that earned him the MVP award.

Ervins Jonats had a double-double of 13 points and 10 rebounds, the big man duo of Lauris Blaus and Maurice Walker added 11 points apiece, while Rinalds Malmanis scored 10 points and grabbed seven rebounds for the hosts.

For Ventspils, Ronalds Zakis had a team-high 11 points. Rihards Lomazs and Aigars Skele finished with 10 points apiece.

The initiative was in the hands of Ventspils in the first half of the game, with the visitors taking a 17-15 lead after the first quarter and increasing it to nine points (37-28) at the halftime break after a successful second period.

The gap between the sides grew to as many as 12 points after the break after a Cheikh Embodj’s trip to the free-throw stripe.However, Valmiera/ORDO responded with a 7-0 run and steadied the ship ahead of the final period, heading into the fourth quarter down only 51-54.

Great stretch of play by Latvian prospect Malmanis, who scored six points in a row for the home side, allowed the hosts to complete the comeback and take the lead at 57-54 with eight minutes remaining.

The rest of the fourth quarter was a nip-and-tuck affair and was all even with a minute left after Ventspils guard Skele tied it up at 62-62 with a basket against his former team with just a minute to go.

Jonats scored a floater on the other end, but Skele, who had eight points in the final quarter, had a response once again. However, Valmiera/ORDO old-timer Kaufmanis had the final say, hitting a game-winner with only a couple of seconds to spare.