|Janis Strelnieks came up with a double-double of 14 points and 10 assists, as well as 3 rebounds in the pounding of Benfica|
BK Ventspils trailed early on but dominated in the last three quarters en route to a 100-65 EuroChallenge Last 16 demolition of Sport Lisboa e Benfica.
Ingus Bankevics had a game-high 26 points in the Group K game for Ventspils, who found themselves behind 31-27 10 minutes into the game but then stormed into a 50-41 lead by half-time.
Algirts Brazis' side then exploded into a 73-49 advantage by the end of the third quarter and cruised the rest of the way.
In the second quarter when Ventspils took command, they were behind 36-34 when Ingus Bankevics and Arturs Strelnieks hit back-to-back three-balls.
Strelnieks then scored again to make it a 42-36 lead and the Latvian side was on the way to convincing victory.
Ventspils shot 12 of 23 from long range compared to Benfica's three-of-11 night.
Bankevics led the three-point shooting parade with a four-of-six night.
The Baltic side also won the battle of the boards, 43-28.
Ingus Bankevics, BK „Ventspils" player:
"The beginning was bad, but then we started to feel the game defensively and offensively. The result of the game shows that and eventually the game was ours. Of course if we didn't have such a bad beginning, our opponents would have scored less than 65."
Algirdas Brazis, BK „Ventspils" head coach:
"I am satisfied with the result and the point difference, because it is also important. Our team fulfilled the maximum plan. The first quarter was a complete mess, but after I talked to the players in the gym after the second quarter, they started to play better. We researched Benfica before this game and we knew what kind of team it is. They are quite an old team, their average age is 30 and it is an advantage for us, because we are a new team."
Antonio Tavares, „ Lisboa e Benfica" player:
"We played good at the beginning, but then we got tired. When you play against a team like Ventspils you have to be good at everything. Ventspils had a good defense and offence, unfortunately we didn't' manage to fight against them properly."
Henrique Vieira, „ Lisboa e Benfica" head coach:
"We played only 10-15 minutes today and that is not enough in a game against such a strong team as our opponents. We came to Ventspils after a tournament in Portugal - we had three games and then a tiring flight to Latvia. All these things influenced our performance. We had a really bad defense and offence; we allowed the best shooters from "Ventspils" to score points. The next game in Lisbon will be completely different."