Tsmoki Grabs Big Win vs. VEF

Tsmoki Grabs Big Win vs. VEF

Tsmoki-Minsk Belarus defeated VEF Latvia at home, 84-77 (20-18, 21-24, 19-12, 24-23).

Top Scorers
Tsmoki-Minsk: David Kravish (26 + 12 reb), Devon Saddler (17 + 8 ast), Maxim Salash (17 + 6 reb), Chris Czerapowicz (13 + 10 reb)

VEF: Alex Perez (22 + 9 ast), Ken Brown (13 + 5 ast)

Tsmoki-Minsk had lost three in a row entering Saturday’s game, including a devastating setback in Krasnoyarsk last weekend. But David Kravish dropped 26 points to lead the home team past VEF and take over 8th place with one game remaining in the season. 

Riga had a chance to clinch a playoff berth with a win. Instead, the Latvians will spend an anxious week at home awaiting their postseason fate, finishing the regular season with an 8-16 record.

Tsmoki-Minsk led by as much as 11, 29-18 early in the 2nd quarter, before a flurry of 3-pointers brought Riga within a point, 34-33. 

Alex Perez even gave the visitors the halftime lead, 42-41, knocking down a triple at the buzzer. 

Tsmoki-Minsk turned the tables in the 3rd quarter. Lockdown defense kept VEF scoreless for nearly five minutes in the period as Minsk built a six-point advantage. 

VEF kept it close in the 4th quarter, cutting the deficit to a single possession on numerous occasions, including a layup from Mareks Mejeris that made it a three-point game, 80-77, with a little more than a minute remaining. 

After both teams missed 3-pointers, Tsmoki guard Devon Saddler was fouled by Mejeris and drained both free throws to put Minsk up by five. Ken Brown missed a triple at the other end and Chris Czerapowicz sealed the Tsmoki win with two more freebies. 

Despite the defeat, VEF retains the tiebreaker with Tsmoki-Minsk thanks to a 12-point win earlier in the season. The Latvians need Minsk to lose next week in St. Petersburg and some help elsewhere to reach the playoffs. Tsmoki can clinch win a win over Zenit or losses from other teams in the playoff hunt. 

38 – David Kravish posted a 38 efficiency rating in the win, shooting 12-15 from the field to go with 12 rebounds. 

Saddler Takes Flight

Tsmoki-Minsk head coach Alexander Krutikov:
– I think our team effort on defense was the key today. We had played well on offense in the past, scoring 80+ points even in losses. But we defended poorly. Today we only let VEF score 77 points, which gave us a good shot at winning. 

VEF head coach Janis Gailitis:
– We played very poorly as a team and individually. A couple of players could have gone off, but didn’t play to their potential. We didn’t find the necessary rhythm. Congratulations to Tsmoki on the win. They deserved it. 

Up Next
Tsmoki-Minsk: May 12 away vs. Zenit
VEF: Season complete (8-16)

Images of the Game

05/05/2018 Tsmoki-VEF 84:77