BC Kalev/Cramo played their first home game in VTB league and had to admit a 102:113 (38:45) defeat to Saratov Avtodor.
Playing without the injured Chavaughn Lewisete, Kalev started well and led most of the first quarter until the visitors made two threes and got a 25:20 lead going into the second quarter. A collision with 215cm Artjom Zabelin ended Tanel Sokk’s game in the start of the second quarter while the visitors continued to grow their lead and won the first half by seven points.
Seemingly tired Kalev could not contain Avtodor’s players who took advantage of all the mistake made my the hosts. In spite of crushing the offensive rebounds (18:7) they couldn’t convert that to cutting down the deficit. Led by coach Sergey Mokin, Avtodor did not let Kalev closer than nine points.
Avtodor scored 48% of their threes (11/23) and 71% of their two point shots (30/42) versus Kalev’s 37% from behind the arc (11/30) and 55% of their two point shots (27/49).
Ivan Almeida and Branko Mirkovic led the way with 21 points, Janari Jõesaar had one of his best games in VTB with 20 points, 9 rebounds (7 offensive rebounds). A pale perfomance by our big men department as Lucas, Lynch and Kangur finished with 12 points and 9 rebounds combined. Perrin Buford finished with 30 points and Trae Golden 24 points for the visitors.
One win and three losses gives Kalev 11th spot in the rankings while Avtodor has 2 wins and 1 loss.