|Azovmash simply had no way of stopping BK Ventspils guard Jahmar Young, who finished the game with 28 points|
BK Ventspils rode the back of hot-shooting Jahmar Young and scraped a 75-74 home win over Azovmash in the first leg of their Eurocup Qualifying Round tie on Tuesday evening.
The Latvian side, which got 28 points from Young, will know they have a lot of work to do when the second leg is played in Mariupol if a Regular Season appearance in the European competition is to be theirs.
Ventspils, with Young and Bojan Bakic burying shots from long range, went on top 56-46 with four minutes remaining in the third quarter but Azovmash refused to let them pull away.
Instead, the Ukrainian outfit dug in and eventually went on an 8-2 tear late in the fourth period to go in front, 74-70.
Daniel Ewing Jr had four of his 13 points in the contest during that scoring spurt that had Azovmash in an excellent position in the tie.
Ventspils got a jump shot from one of Latvia's young national team players at the EuroBasket, center Martins Meiers, before Young capped a spectacular night at the death with his fourth three-ball for a 75-74 first-leg win.
Janis Strelnieks and Bakic each had 12 points while power forward Samuel Willard had a game-high 11 rebounds to go with his 10 points.
Ricky Minard's 16 points led a balanced attack for Azovmash, who had three other players reach double digits in points.
Azovmash Head Coach Aco Petrovic:
"The game was not as good as it should be because Djordjevic was not in our team. The team is used to play all combinations with him. We had a bad beginning and we did not have sufficient defence against Young. We had a chance to win, and I think we should have won this game, but the technical foul at the end changed everything."
Azovmash player Radoslav Rancik:
"We came out really flat. We should have played all the game as we did in the last quarter. We should have played more aggressive and with more tough defence. I do not think this is a terrible result, but in the future we have to concentrate more in such games."
BK Ventspils Head Coach Gundars Vētra:
"I am satisfied that we managed to win this game against such a high level team like Azovmash. Of course, it would be better if we had won with a larger difference, but it is still a victory. Today we showed good team work. I saw that the team is showing character and I am sure this team character will help us to win such good teams in the future."
BK Ventspils player Jahmar Young:
"We fought hard as a team until the end. I was confident about myself when I made the last shot, which was crucial for our team to win."