|Three triples by Janis Timma in the final frame changed the dimensions of his team's clash with Tartu Rock|
Janis Timma has taken BK Ventspils on a remarkable comeback to record a one-point 66-65 victory over northern neighbor Tartu Rock in Tuesday's EuroChallenge encounter.
Trailing 39-23 at half-time, it appeared that Ventspils were in for a rude awakening to their 2014 European campaign.
However, down by 10, 45-55, with 6:33 showing on the clock, Timma came to life for the visitors.
With three three-pointers in three minutes, the Latvian age-grade standout had brought the deficit back to a point with 3:44 to play.
Timma ended the game with 15 points, one behind his elder statesman Sandis Valters, whilst Ronalds Zakis came up one short of a double-double, walking off the court with 19 points and nine rebounds.
Shocked into submission, Tartu Rock then went behind by seven (57-64) as Valters completed a 19-2 run with a jump-shot with the clock showing a little over a minute to play.
Despite only winning by a point, Ventspils were able to breath relatively in the final seconds, with the lead only brought back to a single digit on a Janar Talts three on the buzzer.
Talts ended with 11 points, whilst Joosep Toome racked up a team-high 16 points.
Ventspils Head Coach Roberts Stelmahers:
"Sometimes it happens that if a home team finds its game you cannot answer right away. In the first half Rock made a lot of three pointers and I thought at half-time that this would not last. In the second half we were more aggressive, passed more, helped each other more and shots that went in gave us more confidence. In the end we found our game and that brought us the win."
Ventspils Player Janis Timma:
"We believed more than the other team. Coach told us at half time to not look at the scoreboard and just do our thing. In the second half we started helping more and the shots fell. They did not find their shooting spots and we came back from the deficit and started to pull ahead. I'm glad that all the players showed character as the first game is always important."
Tartu University/Rock Head Coach Gert Kullamäe:
"They started pressing our point-guard Vincent Simpson in the second half and as our second point-guard is injured and I could not make substitutions it broke our game. I think that was the key and that broke us. In the deciding moments with six minutes to go Janis Timma and Sandis Valters made their shots with confidence and we could not do the same with ours."
Tartu University/Rock player Janar Talts:
"It was tough to lose the game by one point especially if you are leading at halftime. But they started making their shots in the second half and in the end it became a mission to save the game for us. Unfortunately we couldn't do that although the home crowd and the atmosphere in the hall was great."