Tough loss from Riga

BC Kalev/Cramo returns from Riga with 13th loss of the season in VTB – this time VEF was better, 87:83 (42:44) the final score. Fifth win for the Latvian side but them up to the ninth place while Kalev remains second to the last in the rankings.

Season high for Bojan Subtic with 25 points, Briscoe added 23 (11 in the last quarter) and another nice outing from veteran Kristjan Kangur with 12 points.  Ken Brown had 23 points and 7 assists for VEF, Artis Ate added 16 with four threes. Despite great offensive rebounding (22:12) Kalev wasn’t able to take advantage of that (close range shots 48% vs 58% and 7/26 vs 9/29 from the deep).

After finding themselves trailing 6:9 in the first quarter Kalev went on a 14:3 run (Subotic 8 points and Arbet had a brilliant 3+1) and took a 22:14 lead afte the first 10 minutes. Second the home team recovered and led by Brown, VEF managed to tie up the game 27:27 but Subotice rose to the occasion again and helped the visiting side to win the first half 44:42.

Tight and nervous game continued in the second half and it was Subotic again who helped keep Kalev in the game and after leading 54:51 Kalev went on a really bad period when they missed 5 shots in a row and made 2 offensive fouls while Ate made two threes and Berzinš made three free-throws and suddenly VEF had their biggest lead yet 60:54 after Kangur made a free-throw Brown responded with an and one to grow the lead to eight points. But Kalev did not surrender, Briscoe and Simmons combined for six points in a row but a three from Janicenoks gave VEF a 67:61 lead going into the fourth quarter.

Perez started the fourth quarter with a made three and the score was 70:61 when Briscoe show started, the young american scored 7 points in 82 seconds and cut the deficit down to two point but the hosts immediately responded with a 7 point run of their own with six and a half minutes to go. Kristjan Kangur went on a mad run to help Kalev back in the game scoring three times straight and with 39 seconds to go the score was tied!

Unfortunately the hosts were better in the deciding seconds – Brown outplayed our defense and Berzinš’s dunk gave them the lead with 18 seconds to go, but Sokk missed an open three and Kangur couldn’t get a shot off after almost securing the rebound.