|Caleb Green was huge for hosts BC Oostende, contributing 23 points and 7 rebounds to a convincing home win|
BC Oostende cruised to a comfortable 86-74 win over BK Ventspils to take the advantage in their battle for a place in the EuroChallenge Final Four.
The hosts busted the game open in the second quarter, finishing on a 12-2 run before half-time to take a 41-29 advantage into the locker rooms.
Caleb Green had six of those 12 points, the first of them when he made a quick lay-up and drew a foul, adding the extra from the free-throw line.
Then, on the final play of the half, he nailed a three-pointer from Darrel Mitchell's assist.
Ventspils could not reduce the gap to anything less than six the rest of the way, with Oostende enjoying double-digit advantages most of the way.
The visitors tried one final rally, cutting the gap from 13, 71-58, to five as Oritseweyinmi Efejuku's lay-up made it 71-66 with 2:58 to go.
But Oostende got the message and Marcus Faison responded with a pair of three-pointers that quickly erased all that hard work as the gap bulged back to 11, 77-66.
Green led five Oostende players in double figures, scoring 23 while adding seven rebounds.
Mitchell added 15 with seven rebounds and six assists, while Matthew Lojeski also had 15 points.
William Thomas had 13 points and Faison added 12.
Rashad Anderson's 18 points led Ventspils, while Brandon Hunter had 15, Efejuku 14 and Janis Strelnieks 11.
The teams meet again in Game Two on Friday.
Akselis Vaigros - BK Ventspils Player
"Congratulations to Oostende for their win. Our team totaly lost the game in every part. We didn't start well, we were not talking to each other and this went on. If you let Ostende score 86 points then you know it will be very difficult to beat them. But we have time to set our mind straight."
Coach Guntis Endzels - Bk Ventspils
"It's clear that Oostende deserved to win tonight, they were just the better team. We didn't follow our game plan tonight and the result makes that pretty clear."
Coach Jean-Jaumin - BC Telenet Oostende
"For us the most important was the win. It didn't matter how, by one or by ten. But it's only one - zero. Ventspils is a very good team and I am sure we will see a different Ventspils on Friday. We won our game in defense, the constant pressure of my team hurt Ventspils and I want to thank my team for that."
Will Thomas - BC Telenet Oostende Player
"What a big win for us. Up by one game in the series, now we just have to go up there and try to finish the job so we can move on to the Final Four. If we follow the same game plan with our agressive defense and good excecution in offense, then things might look good for us."