BK Ventspils bounced back from its initial home loss in ULEB Cup Group B by simply overwhelming Ovarense Aerosoles 68-92 on Tuesday. Ventspils now has a 1-1 record in Group B, just one win away from the undefeated leader Besiktas Cola Turka. Meanwhile, Ovarense dropped to 0-2 and needs to start winning right away to keep its elimination hopes alive. Justin Love led the winners with 15 points, Jimmy Baxter put together a double-double of 14 points and 10 rebounds, Pavels Veselovs had 12 points while three players, Raimonds Gabrans, Janis Strelnieks and Uvis Helmanis added 11 apiece. Ovarense had 31 points from Cordell Henry and 10 from Rui da Mota.
Ventspils had a strong start, as it opened the game with a wild 2-10 run that allowed the Latvian powerhouse to finish the first quarter ahead, 15-22. Strelnieks and Gabrans took over early in the second quarter, as Ovarense could not find ways to score now. Love and Helmanis stepped up for Ventspils to break the game open, 19-40. Ovarense only managed to get within 24-44 at halftime. Ovarense needed a major comeback to get back in the game but it just didn't happen. The hosts found a go-to guy in Henry, but he didn't find much help around. Ventspils kept following its game plan, with team effort, outstanding defense and enough patience in offense. As such, the guests extended their margin to 39-61 to seal the outcome after three quarters. Akselis Vairogs scored the basket for the biggest margin of the night, 39-65, as Ventspils finally allowed Ovarense to exchange baskets. Everything was said and done already, as Ventspils sent a message that echoed all around Group B while Ovarense will have to improve at both ends to compete for a spot in the elimination rounds.
BK Ventspils head coach Gasper Okorn
"We made a good preparation, saw several videos from Ovarense Aerosoles and neutralized their strong points, namely the fast transitions and the outside shooting."
Ovarense Aerosoles head coach Luis Magalhaes
"We started very bad not being able to solve the problems presented by the other team. This bad start conditioned our game."
Tuesday, November 13, 2007