Zielona Gora pace up to escape Kalev

Kalev came short at home vs Zielona Gora – 92:70 (18:18, 27:21, 23:13, 24:18).

Top scorers
Kalev: Aigars Skele (16 + 7 rebounds + 5 assists), Sacha Killeya-Jones (12), Janari Joesaar (12 + 6 rebounds), Kyle Vinales (11)
Zielona Gora: Drew Gordon (21 + 8 rebounds), Ivica Radic (19 + 7 rebounds), Marcel Ponitka (15), Ludvig Hakanson (11 + 7 assists), Joe Thomasson (10)

Story
The first quarter was not a snipers’ feast. Teams were levelled, several lead changes hence the draw after 10 minutes. The second period started with a 8:0 run by Zielona Gora. Kalev used cannonade from beyond the arc struggling to erase the deficit, but the guests made another run even reaching double-digits lead at some point (45-34).

Another Kalev’s attempt to come back happened after the halftime break (got to -2 after Aigars Skele’s three-pointer). Joe Thomasson destroyed the efforts matching with two long-range shots to restore 10-points lead. And this was not the last bit by Zielona Gora as Ivica Radic and Marcel Ponitka built a 20-point lead by the end of the third. Zan Tabak’s side managed to maintain the lead in the final quarter to get the fifth win and surpass Kalev in the standings.

Hero
Drew Gordon. Zielona Gora’s center made one of his greatest contributions this season being the second in scoring (21) and efficiency (28), plus adding 3 offensive rebounds.

Stat
16 turnovers by Kalev were a sentence. They allowed Zielona Gora to score 27 points. Meanwhile, Tallinn could only get 5 points after turnovers.

Comment
Kalev head coach Roberts Stelmahers:
“Bad day for us. Everything built in the first half fell apart after the break.  This is a lesson for us, we will work harder and play better.”

Zielona Gora head coach Zan Tabak:
“It was a great defensive effort for us. I’m happy that we could win here in Tallinn, because it is a difficult court – big teams have got their losses here. I think that Kalev team and coach are doing a great job, they took maximum today considering all their injuries. Nonetheless, we are happy to win.”

Next
Kalev: January 20 vs. Avtodor

Source VTB homepage: (https://www.vtb-league.com/en/news/zielona-gora-pace-up-to-escape-kalev/)

Photo: Hendrik Osula