Ventspils barely escape Pyrinto's storm

It was perhaps the most entertaining piece of basketball we witnessed in the Quarterfinals, as Latvian powerhouse Ventspils barely held on to victory against Pyrinto. The game was neck-to-neck for the lion’s share of the game, but the home side managed to get away with the 70-64 (20-19; 20-11; 10-21; 20-13) victory.


It was a nip-and-tuck battle in the first ten minutes and while Pyrinto did have a small advantage, halfway through the quarter, Ventspils responded with an 8-0 stretch to pull ahead by five. Nevertheless, by the time the period was over, the teams were separated by just a single point.

The home side managed to pull ahead in the second quarter, when they reached their first double-digit advantage. A 10-point wall was between them and the Finns and clearly, both coaches had something to talk about at halftime.

Right out of the gates, it seemed that Pyrinto was a completely different team, as they started operating extremely efficiently on both sides of the court. They managed to set up a 17-3 run and going into the final quarter, were already ahead by one.

Ventspils retook the lead just seconds inside the final frame. The margin had reached six, and then slid back down to just one. It seemed Pyrinto weren’t about to risk it all and were playing for the score instead of the win in the final minute, but Nikolaos Gkikas pushed the margin back to six with a dagger from downtown right in the defenders face.

Kristaps Janicenoks was the clear leader for the Latvians with 21 points in his account. Martins Meiers and Nikolaos Gkikas added 10 points and 4 rebounds each, while the Greek also dished out 7 assists.

Bryan Hopkins led Pyrinto with 14 points and 7 rebounds, while Tyrone Kent added 11 points. Damon Williams scored 10 points, secured 5 rebounds and recorded 4 dimes before fouling out. David Jackson ended the game with 9 points.