Ventspils finish third in Vikonda BBL Cup

KEDAINIAI – Ventspils bounced back from a semifinal upset by Tartu Rock by finishing the Vikonda BBL Cup on a high note, as the Latvian team took a 63-59 victory against Prienai to secure third place.


Having led from start to finish, last season’s BBL champions had the control of the game in their hands from the early going, breaking away to an 18-6 lead six minutes into the game.

Although the Lithuanians had erased the deficit to a single point after Vaidas Cepukaitis knocked down two free-throws to make it 19-20, Ventspils struck back and pulled ahead once again.

The gap between the teams was only a few points, but Prienai couldn’t make the final push to turn the tables around, with Ventspils leading 37-33 at the half.

After two three-pointers in a row by Maris Gulbis in the third quarter, the Latvian side increased the advantage to 12 points, and Janis Timma soon made it 50-36 with a mid-range jumper.

Prienai did win the fourth quarter 21-12, but the last run came too late to put any pressure on Ventspils, as a very long three-point heave by Zygimantas Janavicius made the final score seem closer than the game actually was in the end.

Maris Gulbis was the top scorer of the game with 15 points on 3-of-4 three-point attempts, Sandis Valters scored 13, while no other Ventspils player reached double digits.

Dainius Salenga and Zygimantas Janavicius collected 11 points each for Prienai, while Martynas Linkevicius chipped in with a double-double of 10 points and 10 boards.