Valmiera is the new champions of the Latvian Basketball League (LBL), marking an historic first title in the history of the club. The success came after the team defeated VEF Riga in the decisive Game 7 of the finals series, winning 78-65 to lift the trophy in front of its own fans.
The title win for Valmiera is hugely impressive considering it came against the four-time champs from Riga. Indeed, VEF Riga was the defending LBL champion and has won four league crowns in the last five years, but this season it was not to be. The finals series has been hotly contested, but Valmiera had the last say with a solid home win to close out the season.
Valmiera vs. VEF Riga, 78-65
The stats of the game will show an equal contest and possible numbers that are slightly in VEF Riga’s favour. The clubs was leading through 31 minutes and looked on course to retain its league title, but instead the hosts produced a stunning fourth quarter to log a comeback success.
Valmiera started well with 19 first quarter points, a haul Riga could not match as the guests hit for 12 points to give the home team a give point lead. The advantage did not last long as the champs got cooking in the second quarter, using a 17-23 run to address the balance, 38-35. VEF has moved to within three points and tied the contest through three quarters with an 18-21 winning frame that locked the scoreboard on 56-56. Riga took the lead early in the fourth, but then simply collapsed as the hosts thrived with a 24-9 title winning fourth quarter.
Aigar Skele topped the winners with 14 points, followed by Martins Laksa and Kwamainn Mitchell with 13 points each.
Josh Bostic stood out in the loss with a game high 19 points and 7 rebounds, while Martins Meiers produced 12 points.