Ventspils Too Strong For Sodertalje



30. Ronalds Zakis (BK Ventspils)
Ronalds Zakis topped scoring for BK Ventspils with 21 points

BK Ventspils overpowered Sodertalje to take a 72-63 win and move to 2-0 in Group C of EuroChallenge.

Sodertalje enjoyed only a couple of brief runs in the game - keeping them in touch with their hosts but in the end only enough to prevent a blow-out as Ventspils dominated most of the way.

The hosts had gone 15-7 up in the early going before John Roberson's three-pointer sparked an 8-0 response from Sodertalje that temporarily edged them in front, but that minor rebellion was crushed by a 9-0 Ventspils run that spanned the first and second quarter, with Davis Lejasmeiers' jump-shot making it 24-16.

The hosts were beginning to stretch their lead as half-time neared, with Ronalds Zakis going on a personal 6-0 burst that made it 36-27.

Again Sodertalje had a response, scoring 10 unanswered points - including threes from Toni Bizaca and Roberson to snatch a 37-36 lead early in the third period before Ventspils were able to restore normal service.

When Sandis Valters nailed a three to make it 40-39, the lead was theirs for good and they gradually stretched it out, going 51-42 up on a pair of free throws from Artjoms Butjankovs with 1:20 left in the third period.

A Valters three midway through the final stanza made it 64-52 and this time there would be no Sodertalje rally.

Zakis led Ventspils with 21 points while Maris Gulbis added 11.

Roberson finished with 22 for Sodertalje, with Bizaca collecting 18.