One More In The Bag For Ventspils, Kataja

09 January 2013
6. Janis Timma (BK Ventspils)
Was not going to miss easy shots like this against Lietkabelis: Janis Timma

EuroChallenge Last 16 Group I rivals BK Ventspils and Joensuun Kataja were in action in different competitions on Tuesday night but both can feel pretty good about themselves.

Ventspils prolonged their unbeaten run by registering one more win on Tuesday night, their 19th consecutive success across three competitions.

The Latvian side began their Baltic League Top 16 campaign with a hard-earned 73-62 victory over Lietkabelis on the road.

Ventspils had finished the Regular Season undefeated in Group A, while the Lithuanian team came in second with an 8-2 record in Group B.

On Tuesday night however, the hosts seemed unfazed by their opponents' perfect record and forced Ventspils into a poor first half, in which they only scored 29 points.

Ventspils however do not only win pretty, and they have shown they can out-defend any team.

Time and time again this season, they have managed to grind out results even when their performance was not outstanding, and they did just that in Lithuania on Tuesday.

Donald Sims led all scorers with 18 points and added four assists while the contribution of both Janis Timma and big man Ronalds Zakis was crucial.

Both Latvian internationals shot over 62.5 percent from the floor and finished with 11 and 13 points, respectively.

Ventspils' next game is at home against Barons kvartals on the weekend and, should they win, they will enter the EuroChallenge Last 16 on the back of an impressive 20-game winning streak.

The Latvian team is facing Joensuun Kataja in the opening game of Group I, and the Finns are not doing bad lately either.

Kataja played host to Lappeenrannan NMKY on Tuesday night and routed their opponents, 99-70, to clinch a second win in a row within the space of four days in the Finnish Korisliiga.

13. Juho Nenonen (Joensuun Kataja)
Juho Nenonen sparked Joensuun Kataja with 23 points against LNMKY

The hosts established their rythm right from tip-off and were already leading 32-19 at the end of the first quarter.

They kept a firm grip on the contest until the final buzzer to register a necessary, but otherwise uneventful win.

Coach Jukka Toijala must have been delighted to see that power forward Daniel Coleman, in only his third game with the team this season, was dominant in the paint and went 10-for-14 from the floor to finish with 25 points and eight rebounds.

Finnish forward Juho Nenonen was not far behind the 27-year-old American, with 23 points and eight rebounds, while Petri Virtanen had 16 points and dished out a game-high eight assists.

Kataja's schedule since the start of 2013 has been the most hectic of any EuroChallenge team.

In their first game in the new year they lost 87-79 to Tampereen Pyrintö, a side that failed to reach the Last 16 of the EuroChallenge.

Kataja bounced back with a 99-88 victory over KTP-Basket on the road two days later, and have now improved to 16-5 and occupy third spot in the Korisliiga standings after Tuesday's victory.


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