Israeli club Maccabi Rishon Le-Zion booked their ticket to FIBA Europe Cup Quarter-Finals after sweeping its series against BK Ventspils. They move on to face the Fraport Skyliners Frankfurt (Germany-BBL) who also swept their Octo-finals series against AEK Athens (Greece-A1). Maccabi Rishon is the fourth team to make through to the next stage of the competition with the 93-85 victory. Aside from Fraport and Maccabi Rishon, the Port of Antwerp Giants and Enisey Krasnoyarsk are awaiting their respective matchups in the Top 8 knockout round.
BK Ventspils suffered from a nasty shooting slump through the first three quarters of the game and it accounted for the struggles early on. Maccabi Rishon managed to establish an early 11-point advantage at the end of the first quarter, 23-12. Ventspils came back swinging in the second frame and were able to reduce the lead to a more manageable 37-32 score at the halftime break.
A strong third quarter from the hosts allowed them to extend their lead further. This was when Ventspils truly felt the pinch of their poor shooting and could not answer Maccabi Rishon’s rally with offense of their own. Maccabi Rishon also managed to do well from the free-throw line in this game. They knocked down 26-of-35 shots from the charity stripe compared to 14-of-21 by Ventspils.
Ventspils made a valiant last stand in the fourth and final frame. Unfortunately for the tough Latvian squad, it was a matter of being too little too late. Maccabi Rishon did not play a perfect game themselves. Some flaws in their game was highlighted in this affair. They did not take care of the ball very well and committed a total of 23 turnovers.
Shawn Dawson and Mark Lyons led the charge for Maccabi Rishon in this game. They poured in 25 and 24 points respectively. Lyons added eight assists and was a perfect 12-12 from the free-throw line. Derrick Nix led Ventspils with a double-double performance of 20 points and 10 rebounds. Kristaps Janicenoks was their top scorer with 21 points.