|Valmiera advances to the next stage and thanks the audience|
BC Valmiera/Rujiena has kept their FIBA Europe Cup hopes alive with a crucial 99-88 win over Gala Baku. Both teams knew that the winner of this game would advance to the final four of the North division, while the loser would sit out the rest of the European season.
The final score, with a 11 point difference does not mirror the whole game. Despite the fact that Valmiera was ahead during the whole game (sometimes with up to 20 points), Gala showed that they did not come to Valmiera as tourists, but rather to fight for the tickets to the next round of this year’s FCM.
At the beginning of the second half Valmiera went ahead and didn’t allow the guests to come close. Both teams were quite effective in steals and in rebounds. But Valmiera had 15 rebounds more than Gala.
The score of 46-42 after two quarters after the halftime was spread to 18 and 20 points (62-44, 68-48) with an amazing 18-2 (22-6) run for the Latvian team.
Having taken the game, Valmiera’s Head Coach Krumins had the chance to give playing time to all his players and pleased the spectators with a more open style of play.The Latvians were calmly sinking free throws during the last minute and won the game.
Mingo scored 29 points and grabbed 10 rebounds (3 blocks) for Valmiera, Burries scored 22 points and 7 assists for Baku, hitting 7 of 13 two pointers in the game.
MVP of the game: Ronell Dean Mingo (Valmiera)