Ventspils leave it late against Lietkabelis

PANEVEZYS – Lietkabelis gave the defending BBL champions Ventspils a real challenge at home in Panevezys, but the visitors from Latvia held on to take a 64-59 victory in the end.

Having improved to an 8-2 record, Ventspils caught up with current Group B leaders Nevezis, while Lietkabelis are still in the race for a playoff spot despite falling to 2-8.

 

Early in the fourth quarter, Ivan Nelyubov had put Lietkabelis ahead 55-54, but baskets by Lorenzo Williams and Janis Timma put Ventspils back in front.

Nelyubov had brought the hosts within one point (58-57), but Lietkabelis scored only two more points during the remaining four minutes, as Ventspils registered another win.

The visitors’ big man Harvey Grant was one rebound shy off a double-double, finishing the game with a team-high 14 points and nine rebounds, while Ronalds Zakis added 12 points and eight boards.

Goran Vrbanc paced Lietkabelis’ offense with 19 points, while Ivan Nelyubov scored 17 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in a losing effort.