This game should decide which team would become first in group В. The hosts had to win only by more than 9 points.
Avtodor started very successful, but at the end of the first period Valmiera was able to narrow the gap to only four points (25:21). The key players of Saratov were Jerald Honeycutt (22 points, 7 assists and 3 steals) and Lamayne Wilson (15 points and 7 rebounds).
By the end of 2nd quarter Avtodor played much better as the guests did and so they were leading by 14 points – 55:41.
The 3rd quarter was marked by the highest advantage for Avtodor – 69:48. Roman Gorelovski a 20-year-old forward showed his skills (20 points, 9 rebounds).
The coach of Valmiera, Varis Krumins, was determined to take a time-out, which helped the team to shorten the 20-points advantage of Avtodor. The game was getting more and more interesting. At the 33rd minute of the game the score was 81:75. When the score was 86:79 a young guard of Avtodor, Andrey Ivanov scored a very important shot from the arc – 89:79.
During the final minutes the Latvian team was getting closer and closer (95:87). 11 sec to the end of the game the score was 96:89 and Avtodor had an opportunity to win with 10-points difference, but Saratov’s guard Yaroslav Korolev missed the final 3-point shot. Final score – 96:89.
MVP: Jerald Honeycutt.
Varis Krumins, Head Coach, BC Valmiera Rujiiena:
"We got a very young team and we prefer tp play very fast basketball. This helps us usually. Today, Avtotor was much better then us and they could have won this match with a big advantage. Luckily - for us - they started to show a more relaxed game in the third quarter. And I'm thankful to my players that they took the chance to reach the result that we needed in this game."
Vladimir Rodionov, Head Coach, BC Avtodor:
"When our lead became very big I decided to give a chance to my young players. Unfortunately they did not fulfill my expectations. If we continued to play with more experienced players we could have won with a bigger advantage!"