Valencia Basket surged past VEF Riga in the fourth quarter to earn a 71-82 victory on the road that spoiled the hosts’ chances to advance to the quarterfinals. Valencia ended the Last 16 with a 6-0 record. Riga led 20-13 at the end of the first quarter, but the game tightened from there until AJ Ogilvy produced 11 straight points in the final 10 minutes to give the visitors a 62-76 lead that stood up the rest of the way. Ogilvy led all scorers with 20 points, Vitor Faverani bagged 13, Rodrigo San Miguel added 9 and three other players scored 8 apiece -- Victor Claver, Nando De Colo and Rihards Kuksiks. Donatas Zavackas paced the losers with 17 points, Sandis Valters had 16 and Dairis Bertrans finished with 15.
Back-and-forth scoring set the tone early as Valencia’s Andrew Ogilvy pulled the visitors to 5-4. Ogilvy and Claver each added two-pointers for Valencia, then Curtis Millage kept the hosts out front with a layup, 9-6. Scoring slowed after Claver split free throws until Zavackas drained two straight three-pointers to give VEF Riga a 15-8 lead. After the hosts’ Valters drained another triple and Zavackas knocked in a layup, Faverani scored Valencia’s first field goal in over 6 minutes with a dunk, then slammed home another with 1 second on the clock, cutting the lead to 20-13 at the end of the first quarter. Faverani kept working, dunking yet again, then Kuksijs hit from downtown as Valencia pulled close, 20-18. Zavackas answered the visitors’ run with a triple, then Nando De Colo registered his first points with a layup and Faverani and Serhiy Lishchuk each put in a two-pointer to knot the game at 24-24. A layup by Antanas Kavaliauskas and an exchange of free throws moved the score, then De Colo drilled a triple as Valencia edged out front 27-28, its first lead of the game. After Bertrans hit a pair of foul shots, Nik Caner-Medley buried a three-pointer, pushing the lead to 29-31. But Bertrans answered with a triple of his own and Tyler Cain added a layup, as the lead turned in Riga’s favor, 34-31. The remainder of the scoring came at the foul line as Riga held on to a 35-32 halftime lead.
Kaspars Berzins got Riga on the board with a layup and free throw, then Caner-Medley hit a short-range jumper as the scoreboard advanced to 38-34. San Miguel and Claver each knocked down three-pointers to give the visitors the lead, 39-41. A seesaw battle ensued as Valters answered with a triple, then Lishchuk put in a layup, advancing the score to 42-43. The visitors’ Rafa Martinez added free throws, Kuksiks found the range from deep and Ogilvy scored a layup, as Valencia surged out front 43-50. Riga rallied with free throws by Berzins, a two-pointer by Kavaliauskas and a 5-point spurt by Bertrans, including a triple, but De Colo came up with a three-pointer at the buzzer to hand Valencia a 52-55 margin at the end of the third quarter. Faverani scored 5 straight points to open the quarter, then Ogilvy and Kuksis each dunked as the visitors opened a 54-65 advantage. After an exchange of two-pointers, Zavackas and Valters each poured in triples to slice the lead to 62-67. But Ogilvy kept matters steady for Valencia, scoring 8 straight points in the paint plus three foul shots to open a comfortable lead again, 62-76. Bertrans got 3 back from downtown with just under 3 minutes on the clock, and Gatis Jahovics and Valters each added two-pointers, but San Miguel answered with a layup and a pair of free throws and Caner-Medley added another pair of foul shots as Valencia fended off any attempt at a comeback to pull out the win 71-82.
Tuesday, February 28, 2012