Jalen Riley’s buzzer-beater lifts VEF Riga to a big win

2021-12-14T19:52:40+00:00 2021-12-14T21:11:39+00:00.

Giannis Askounis

14/Dec/21 19:52


Second win for VEF Riga in the Basketball Champions League Regular Season

By Johnny Askounis/ info@eurohoops.net

Storming back from an early 10-point deficit, VEF Riga improving after the break earned the win, 74-71, versus NutriBullet Treviso Tuesday.

Racine-born Jalen Riley was the difference-maker connecting the game-winning three-pointers as time ran out in the Basketball Champions League Regular Season Gameday 5 fixture. His game-high 19 points got built by 7/13 field goals, including 3/8 from beyond the arc.

With 2.2 seconds left, Riley received the inbound pass from Ron Curry and put the finishing mark on the exciting contest from the corner. Curry and Kristers Zoriks chipped in 13 more points each. Veteran forward Maris Gulbis added ten points.

More good news from Athens, as Falco Szombathely eliminated AEK, thus entering the team based in Riga to the Champions League Play-In Round, scheduled to take place in January.

The domestic champions of Latvia went up to 2-3 in Group D of the Regular Season. However, the visiting side retained the tiebreaker advantage with next week’s Gameday 6 to determine whether VEF Riga will also secure the home-court advantage in the second opportunity to clinch a berth to the Round of 16.

Both Rayshaun Hammonds and Alexander Madsen were sidelined limiting the available players for head coach Janis Gailitis to ten.

The team coached by Massimiliano Menetti forced down to 3-2, was in the lead for nearly thirty minutes at Arena Riga but lost control down the stretch.

DeWayne Russell knotting the game at 71-71 with a couple of free throws and recording a team-high 15 points was not enough. Giordano Bortolani finished with 14 points and Henry Sims had 13 points, while Michal Sokolowski tallied 11 points.

Postgame press conference:

Photo Credit: Basketball Champions League