VEF Riga tops Venspils for LBL title

VEF RigaVEF Riga is once again the champion of Latvian Basketball after the beating rival and defending champs VK Ventspils 71-63 to lift the trophy. The winners had home court advantage in Game 6 after taking a 3-2 series lead in Ventspils earlier in the week. With the supporters in tow, VEF Riga managed to overhaul an 11 point deficit at halftime to emerge as champions.

The win marked the first title since 2013 for the club, an era that sparked three LBL crowns in a row, overall the Riga based club has conquered the title four times. The hosts built the comeback in the game on consistent scoring from the charity strip, hitting 80% (16 of 20) of its free throws.

Ventspils had the chance to tie the series and force a decider, and in the first quarter the visitors had control of the hardwood and opened a 16-21 lead. In the second quarter the travellers enhanced their lead with a 12-18 charge that gave them a 28-39 lead through the long break. With a double digit lead, Ventspils was cruising, but the halftime team talk from VEF Riga’s head coach Nikolajas Mazurs paid off as the hosts used a 21-11 run in Q3 to make it a one point game through three quarters (49-50). In the fourth act Riga continued to turn the tide and won the game with a huge 22-13 run.

Mareks Mejeris was a standout performer for VEF Riga as he plundered a game high 22 points and doubled up with 14 rebounds. Mejeris was followed by Gerald Robinson with 15 points.

Jerai Grant also had a double-double for Ventspils as he scored 17 points and took 12 boards off the glass. Zanis Peiners added 13 points and Kristaps Janicenoks.

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