By Johnny Askounis/ firstname.lastname@example.org
After two away wins over the first two campaigns in the Basketball Champions League, Falco Szombathely was victorious on the road, 80-74, against VEF Riga on Wednesday.
The Hungarian champs were held without a field goal for most of the final 3:53 of the Basketball Champions League Regular Season Round 2 fixture but managed to jump to 2-0 in Group D. They were actually stuck at 76 points until captain Benedek Varadi sank a couple of free throws with 8.9 seconds remaining. He added two more points to wrap up proceedings with four seconds left.
Varadi, 26, was limited to six points and 2/10 field goals. Five of his teammates were cooking for a total of 65 points at Arena Riga. Zoltan Perl’s team-high 16 points were paired with a game-high six assists. Boris Barac put up 15 points. Marvin Clark and Szilard Benke had 12 points each. Former UCLA center Gyorgy Goloman added ten points.
The team coached by Milos Konakov failed to hold on to an early double-digit advantage, 26-16, in the second quarter, but still extended its perfect start to the 2021-22 season. Besides the 2-0 in the BCL, a 7-0 record leads Hungary’s NB I/A.
On to the Latvian champions, a 21-5 sprint in the second period rescued them from the early ten-point hole. They failed to regain control down the stretch and fell to 0-2, tied with AEK in the four-team group. The Vefins had dropped to 3-1 in the Latvian-Estonian Basketball League on Saturday.
Former Saint Mary’s guard Kristers Zoriks registering a game-high 21 points was not enough. He connected 4/9 three-pointers, but the remaining players of Janis Gailitis only sank 4/22, making the least of the home-court advantage.
Both sides will be back in Champions League action on November 3, Szombathely visiting the other 2-0 team of the group, NutriBullet Treviso, and VEF Riga hosting AEK.
Postgame press conference:
Photo Credit: Basketball Champions League