Kalev break 3-game losing streak and get back to play-off zone

Kalev beat Avtodor at home – 88:76 (26:15, 19:13, 21:21, 22:27)

Top scorers
Kalev: Kyle Vinales (20), Aigars Skele (15+9 assists), Janari Joesaar (13+7 rebounds), Kristjan Kitsing (12)

Avtodor: Isaiah Hicks (17+6 rebounds), Mouhammadou Jaiteh (13+14 rebounds), Markel Starks (11+6 assists), Anton Kvitkovskikh (10)

Story
Both teams had a 3-game losing streak before the game which ment that the victory in this game was vital for both teams to participate in play-off race. And Kalev started actively. Kyle Vinales via his threes supported by Janari Joesaar and Kristjan Kitsing deep shots helped Kalev gain comfortable lead in the first quarter – 26:15. 9 of these 26 points were scored by Vinales. In the second quarter the hosts powere up their push – new heroes were Sten Sokk and Aigars Skele, and at some point Kalev’s advantage reached its maximum – 19 points. After 2 quarters the score was 45:28.

The second half started with Saratov’s unexpexted run. It was started by Nikita’s Mikhailovskii three-point bomb. 10:2 in first minutes of quarter – and Avtodor almost started the chase. But Aigars Skele stopped guests’ inspiration by quickly scoring 5 points and taking back the significant lead. Finally, Vinales a few moments before the end of the quarter increased Kalev’s lead to 20 points. Last try to get back to the game was taken by Avtodor in the fourth, but Kitsing and Sokk’s threes killed the upcoming comeback, Tallinn break its losing streak and get back to top-8 outpacing Astana.

Hero
Aigars Skele. Latvian guard scored at key moments of the game becoming second best scorer in roster, gave 9 assists (with only 1 turnover) and 2 offensive rebounds were cherry on top – a rare thing for a guard.

Stat
24 assists against 13 and only 9 turnovers against 17 – pure Kalev’s dominance in position offense. It’s interesting that Avtodor were better on the boards – 45 against 30.

Comments
Kalev head coach Roberts Stelmahers:
– I appreciate fans and their support – today they were the sixth man on the court. Moreover, I’m happy with our first win in 2020 in United league. We followed game plan and that’s why we won. Yes, we made a few mistakes during the game but we won and that’s most important.

Avtodor head coach Predrag Krunic:
– Congratulations to opponents – they played better and deserve the win. In the first half we didn’t show nice defence and weren’t sharing the ball in offense enough. After the half-time we started to play better but couldn’t get close enough to change the game.

Source VTB homepage: (https://www.vtb-league.com/en/news/kalev-break-3-game-losing-streak-and-get-back-to-play-off-zone/)

Photo: Hendrik Osula