|Stefan Wessels provided the big plays in a crucial second-quarter run for the Shoeters|
SPM Shoeters Den Bosch have had the perfect return to Europe, claiming a 78-71 win over Rakvere Tarvas to open their 2013/14 EuroChallenge account.
American center Tai Wesley led the scoring for the hosts, ending the clash with 24 points, but on a late second-quarter run which provided Den Bosch with a nine-point buffer going into the second half, it was Stefan Wessels providing the big plays.
With three minutes to go in the opening half, the game was tense with the hosts holding a slender two-point, 31-29 lead.
Wessels then came to the fore, sinking a pair of free throws before following it up with a three-pointer soon after to give his team the lead, 39-30.
On five-for-eight shooting, Wessels finished with 15 points.
Silver Leppik assured the game remained interesting in the third period, sinking a three with the clock showing 6:40 to have Tarvas back within four, 43-39.
However, David Gonzalvez and Kees Akerboom took over for the hosts, combining to reel off the next 10 Shoeters points to put the gap out to 14 points.
Gonzalvez registered 12 points by the end of the night whilst Akerboom had 10.
Tarvas may have fancied their chances midway through the last quarter when a Kristo Saage three brought them back within six, 70-64, but the door was closed as quickly as it had opened as Wessels and Gonzalvez steered their team home.
Veterans Rait Keerles and Gregory Jenkins shared a team-high 14 points for the visitors.