VEF defeated Kalev at home, 78-66 (17-17, 25-14, 19-17, 17-18).
VEF: Martins Meiers (15+7 reb), Janis Blums (14+5 reb+5 ast), Mareks Mejeris (13+8 reb+5 ast)
Kalev: Demonte Harper (18+8 reb), Erik Keedus (14+6 reb), Cedric Simmons (6+14 reb)
Some big baskets by Martins Meiers and a 14-0 run to close the 2nd quarter put VEF in control at halftime. Kalev cut the lead to five, 65-60, with 5:45 to play in the game, but Riga was able to beat back the visitors’ attack. Arnas Labuckas’s 3-pointer and another Meiers basket stretched the lead to double digits, which was enough to close out the win.
31 – number of minutes played by Mareks Mejeris, who was making his VEF debut this season. He played in 59 games for VEF over the past two seasons, so it’s no surprise he lead the team in minutes and had a big impact on the outcome.
VEF head coach Janis Gailitis:
– We played a good game. One of the key factors was only committing six turnovers. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to play at a high level for the entire game, but Kalev had the same issue. We wanted to play significantly quicker basketball. It’s good that we got the win. I want to thank my players and Kalev for a good game.
Kalev head coach Alar Varrak:
– There was a point in the game when we committed turnovers and VEF went on a 16-0 run. They took the lead and we couldn’t catch them. Plus, VEF played excellent defense, especially under the basket, so we had to put all our focus on the three-point line. But we competed and VEF competed. This game always has incredible energy… It’s the Baltic derby, after all.
VEF: January 8 vs. Enisey
Kalev: January 15 vs. Lokomotiv-Kuban