VEF Latvia defeated Zielona Gora Poland on the road, 92-78 (18-21, 33-17, 19-17, 22-23).
Zielona Gora: Markel Starks (14), Darko Planinic (12), Michael Humphrey (10)
VEF: Steve Zack (25 + 11 reb), Glenn Cosey (20 + 6 ast), Mareks Mejeris (16 + 5 reb), Andris Misters (12 + 6 reb)
VEF completed the season sweep of Zielona Gora and won its fourth game in six outings on Sunday thanks to a big 2nd quarter and key performances from Steve Zack and Glenn Cosey.
The visitors were 2-11 to start the season, but now have an outside shot at the postseason with a 6-13 record, two and a half games back of 8th place.
Glenn Cosey, who engineered the remarkable double-overtime win in St. Petersburg before the All-Star break, knocked down six 3-pointers for the second-consecutive game and Steve Zack scored a game-high 25 to go with 11 rebounds, leading the Latvians past 12th-place Zielona Gora.
The turning point in an otherwise competitive game came late in the 2nd quarter. Leading by two, 36-34, VEF went on a 15-2 run spearheaded by Zack’s nine points.
Zielona Gora never got closer than nine points the rest of the way, its final chance coming early in the 4th quarter after a 6-0 run to start the period cut VEF’s lead to 70-61.
But Mareks Mejeris drained a 3 at the other end, one of 14 VEF 3-pointers, and the visitors never let its lead slip below double digits again.
The loss likely eliminates Zielona Gora from the playoff chase with the Poles now 4-13 and two wins behind VEF for 11th place.
Riga, on the other hand, has three huge games coming up vs. PARMA, Avtodor and Nizhny Novgorod that will likely decide its postseason fate.
50% – Since joining VEF in February, Glenn Cosey has shot 12-24 from beyond the arc and helped the Latvians secure two wins on the road.
Zielona Gora head coach Igor Jovovic: “The turning point in the game came in the 2nd quarter when VEF was able to score seven points on a single possession. Our opponent was very confident on offense today. We couldn’t stop their big men, who were very mobile and aggressive under the basket. We also had trouble guarding Misters and Cosey. We didn’t get the job done against those players.”
VEF head coach Janis Gailitis: “Zielona Gora started the game with a lot of speed and aggressiveness, but we managed to stop them. Beginning with the 2nd quarter, we controlled the rhythm, took care of the ball and played team basketball. We also demonstrated a good shooting percentage, which allowed us to secure the win.”