07february

Oktyabr Erases 25-Point Deficit In Riga Win

Krasny Oktyabr defeated VEF in Riga, 94-92. The home team started strong and led by as much as 25 points midway through the 3rd quarter, but Krasny Oktyabr refused to fold. The visitors mounted a miracle comeback and ultimately escaped with a win, punctuated by Vasily Zavoruev's 3-pointer with six seconds remaining.

Intro
VEF came into the game in 15th place in the standings, 4-13. Volgograd wasn't much better at 6-11, making this a must-win for both teams.

The home team got off to a strong start with both teams looking to push the tempo. VEF simply looked fresher and more confident. Center Martins Meiers led the way for Riga, executing on pick-and-rolls, beating his man one-on-one and running the fast break. Together with Francisco Cruz and Josh Harrelson, VEF picked up a 51-37 lead at halftime.

The home team continued to pull away in the 3rd quarter as Oktyabr struggled to match VEF's tempo. Two unsportsmanlike fouls also hurt the visitors. With four and a half to play in the period, VEF 's lead had ballooned to 25, 67-42.

Janis Gailitis's club appeared to be in full control, but the Russian visitors refused to go away. A 10-2 run cut the deficit to 17. After VEF pushed the lead back to 20, Oktyabr responded with a 12-1 run that made it a 10-point game with eight minutes to play.

The home team simply couldn't stop visitors from scoring. Another 10-0 midway through the 4th gave Oktyabr the lead, 86-84, with three and a half minutes left on the clock.

Turning Point
The outcome was decided in the final minute. Trailing by a point, Oktyabr got Ekene Ibekwe an open look with 12 seconds remaining. The center missed, but grabbed his own rebound and found Vasily Zavoruev on the perimeter, who drained the '3'!

VEF had a chance to tie or win it at the buzzer, but Francisco Cruz lost control of the ball on a drive to the rim, allowing Oktyabr to escape with an incredible come-from-behind win.

Star Player
Vasily Zavoruev. The sniper played a huge role in Oktyabr's win. He scored eight points in the final three minutes, including the decisive 3-pointer in the final seconds.

Stat of the Game
25 - Volgograd's largest deficit. Oktyabr is earning a reputation for miracle comebacks after erasing a 19-point deficit in Krasnoyarsk earlier this season.

Quotes
VEF head coach Janis Gailitis:
- We controlled the game and had an advantage, but we lost our self-confidence in the 3rd quarter. Our opponent pounced, made it close and we came up short. Nothing went as planned today.

Krasny Oktyabr head coach Kirill Bolshakov:
- We can't expect to make up such a big deficit every time. During the second half, we figured out our mistakes, made a few adjustments and played well on defense to get back in the game. At the end, luck was on our side and we managed to win.

Snapshot

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