VEF Riga leaved a clear message for Eurocup teams that “no one is safe”, with a 99-76 against Uxue Bilbao Basket.
Group J had an amazing clash today where VEF Riga received and dismantled the Spanish team with an excellent 23 second half performance by Earl Rowland who finished the game leading the Latvian way (30 points). The American/Bulgarian guard was well seconded by Gatis Jahovics who added 16.
On the Spanish side Kostas Vasileiadis (20 points) led the team who had five players in double digits. Raul Lopez with 15, Alex Mumbru and Lamont Hamilton each 13 and Roger Grimau went for 10.
It was a high paced first half with some big runs that were always cut by both teams. Defense is not a term that could be used to characterize the first 20 minutes of game where Bilbao led at the intermission 50-51.
After the break it was Earl Rowland’s show for Riga.
In the third quarter, Bilbao defense was annihilated by the point guard who created a 14 point gap between both teams at the end of the quarter. Riga led 75-61 with only 10 minutes to play.
On the first four minutes of the last period, Earl continue his monstrous performance with Bertans and Jahovics help to build a 20 point lead that they comfortably controlled until the buzzer sounded.
With this victory VEF Riga is 1-1 and Bilbao (after an undefeated group) is now 0-2.