Bobby Barrie’s triple-double and the late rally by Gala were not enough to protect the home court and advance to the next round for the team from Baku. The guests from Latvia shot well overall (48%) and especially from behind the arc (46%). Also they committed only 6 turnovers while the hosts had 13.
Valmiera started the game very strong leading by as many as seven points in the early minutes. But bench player Yanis Prieditis hit two three pointers and Gala finished the first quarter on a run. the home team led by one after one (26-25).
The Latvians executed their attacks extremely well in the second quarter hitting long range jumpers as well as scoring points from the paint. Gala was trailing by thirteen at the break and each attempt to start a comeback in the third quarter was failed by the confident play of Valmiera.
The Azerbaijan champion set the tone for the fourth and decisive quarter. They cut the lead to three points after a three pointer from Eugeniy Melinic.
But the same player comitted an offensive foul on the next possession and Valmiera extended the lead to seven points.
The Latvians were calmly sinking free throws during the last minute and evened the best of three series 1-1.
Mingo scored 22 points and grabbed 11 rebounds for “Valmiera, Amolins scored 21, hitting five three pointers in the game.
Bobby Burries made his first triple double with 20 points, 11 rebounds, 10 assists but he also had five turnovers.
Thomas Cherkunovas had a solid performance again with 27 points and 10 rebounds. Darius Lukminas was bothered by tough defense all game long and finished with 11 points after having 32 in game 1.
Game 3 will be in Latvia on February 4th.