Birkāns misses the last shot, Šiauliai-7bet and Tartu advance to the Final 4
Šiauliai-7bet erased a 10 point deficit to grind out a 83-81 road win over Liepāja on Wednesday, March 30, at the Liepāja Olympic center in western Latvia. Šiauliai win opened the Final 4 doors for Tartu Ulikool.
Players of the game
Donatas Sabeckis set a new ENBL record and dished out 13 assists, including four in the fourth quarter.
Šiauliai shooting guard stepped up and scored six of his eight points in the final two minutes.
Sabeckis made a floater with 110 seconds to go, followed by two free throws and a layup with 00:47 left.
Sabeckis had seven rebounds and three steals.
Eimantas Stankevičius made 5-of-7 three pointers and scored 17 points.
Martinas Varnas also had 17 points on 6-of-12 shooting from the field and a perfect 4-of-4 from the three point line.
Isaiah Armwood also finished in double figures.
A former Villanova and George Washington standout had 13 points, seven rebounds and four assists.
Armwood forced six fouls too.
Kārlis Šiliņš led Liepāja with 22 points on 6-of-9 shooting from the field and 9-of-10 from the free throw line.
Florida Atlantic star grabbed six rebounds, stole the ball and blocked one shot.
Roberts Bērziņš scored 16 points before he was fouled out.
Shooting guard made 7-of-13 field goal attempts and dished out six assists.
Oskars Hlebovickis impressed with a dirty dozen.
Forward scored 13 points from all positions.
Zigmārs Raimo added 11 points on 5-of-6 shooting from the field.
Hawaii standout had four rebounds, three assists and three steals.
Liepāja was in front for 38 minutes.
Sabeckis checked in with six consecutive points then.
His free throws put Šiauliai ahead with 74 seconds to go 81-80.
Raimo missed a layup, while Sabeckis had another two points for a 83-80 lead.
Paulus Danusevicius had a personal foul with 00:34 left.
Renārs Birkāns made only the second free throw and missed a potential go ahead basket in the last second.
Liepāja won the battle of rebounds 29-35 and scored more points in the paint 34-40.
The hosts struggled from the three point line and made 7-of-23 field goal attempts compared to 7-of-13 for Šiauliai.
Krastiņš and Šiliņš made two important three pointers in the fourth quarter but it wasn`t enough.
Sabeckis, Varnas and Stankevičius combined for 18 points in the final 10 minutes to spark a 24-12 run.
Šiauliai had 25 assists on 30 field goals.
Liepāja ball movement wasn`t bad either – 22 assists on 28 field goals.
Liepāja finished the Pafbet Estonia and Latvia league regular season last week.
The hosts played without the head coach Artūrs Visockis-Rubenis.
Krists Pīternieks and Juris Umbraško took coaching reins instead.
Šiauliai played without Nemanja Bezbradica (injured finger) and Jon Elmore (will not play at least a month).
The Sun City team finished third and will meet Basket Brno at the semifinal next week.
Tartu Ulikool booked the last ticket to the Final Four, thanks to Šiauliai win.
STANDINGS, as of March 30
Anwil 5-0 (+122) Q
Basket Brno 4-1 (+80) Q
Šiauliai-7bet 3-2 (+2)
Tartu Ulikool 2-3 (-25)
Liepāja 1-4 (-98)
Valmiera Glass/ViA 0-5 (-48)
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