VEF Riga hit 19 three-pointers and rallied from a 21 point-deficit to shock Cibona Zagreb in overtime 110-107 at Siauliai Nike International Junior Tournament on Thursday. Riga made a huge step towards a place in Saturday's final as it now holds 2-0 record in Group A, while Cibona dropped to 0-2. The victors shot 19 for 41 from behind the arc as Davis Geks led the way with 34 points on 8 for 14 three-point shooting. Ervins Meznieks had 22 points, shooting triples 6 for 12, while Kristaps Plavnieks collected 20 points, on 4 for 5 triples, plus 10 assists. Ivars Zvigurs also scored 20 points for Riga, while Marko Arapovic had 37 points plus 12 rebounds for Cibona. Lovro Mazalin had 33 points, 14 rebounds and 6 assists, while Bruno Skokna scored 13 of his 15 points in the first quarter. David Skara finished the game with 11 points plus 8 rebounds, and Luka Obrvan also scored 11 in defeat.
Cibona had a fantastic start into the game, converting on its first eight trips down the floor to build a 3-18 lead. The margin reached 18 points several times in the first 10 minutes, as Skokna scored 13 points in the first quarter, and the lead was as big as 21-42 after 13 minutes. However, Riga erased the deficit before halftime by making 8 three-pointers in the second quarter alone. Geks hit 5 triples on 7 attempts, Meznieks made two, and Plavnieks sunk one of his own making it 49-50 at halftime. In the first 7 minutes of the third quarter, Mazalin scored 13 points to give Cibona 57-66 advantage, but Plavnieks and Geks answered with a 9-0 run, and a triple from Meznieks made it 69-68 going into the fourth quarter. With back-to-back triples from Geks and Plavnieks, and another one from Meznieks Riga took 82-75 lead, but Mazalin and Arapovic put together a 2-13 run to put Cibona back into the lead. Skara scored from downtown for 87-91, but Geks hit his seventh triple with 22 seconds to go making it 92-92 as the game went into overtime. Battle continued in the extra session as basket-plus-foul from Arapovic gave Cibona 94-97, but Riga made a 9-2 run that included a triple from Meznieks before a three-pointer from Geks with 27 seconds to go made it 106-102. Cibona tried to rally, but missed a potential game-tying three-pointer at the buzzer.
Thursday, January 24, 2013