Tense encounter sees Kalev/Cramo catch up Pärnu Sadam in basketball finals

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BC Kalev Cramo players at Wednesday's finals victory over Pärnu Sadam, from left Martin Dorbek, Marcus Keene, Janari Jõesaar and Devin Thomas. Source: VTB United League

Tallinn basketball team BC Kalev / Cramo overcame Pärnu Sadam in a closely-fought second game of the VTB United League final, 85:80.

The win cancels out a home defeat for Kalev/Cramo, who are also joint Estonian/Latvian league champions, last week, in a game which saw Pärnu emerge victorious with the same points margin, 81:76.

Things were close through to the middle of the third quarter, when Kalev/Cramo took a 12 point scoring spurt to Pärnu's two points, only for the latter to score 15 points in a row to Kalev/Cramo's one, giving them the lead at the start of the fourth quarter.

Three-and-a-half minutes before full time, things were still neck-and-neck, until the visitors took a seven point lead with 40 seconds left on the clock, thanks mainly to U.S. shooting guard/small forward Chavaughn Lewis' five points.

Pärnu Sadam point guard  and Finnish national team player Edon Maxhuni took a long distance net, but the Tallinn team held on to take a five point victory.

Statistics show Kalev/Cramo with a 39 percent net success rate to Pärnu's 33 percent.

Kalev/Cramo's top scorers were shooting guard/small forward Tanel Kurbas (16), Latvian shooting guard Janis Kaufmanis (14) and U.S. point guard Marcus Keen (12), while U.S. power forward Devin Thomas pulled off four points and 14 rebounds.

Edon Maxhuni was again Pärnu's top marksman, with 34 points, while small forward Kristjan Kangur netted 15.

Game one was in fact the first time Kalev/Cramo lost in the finals for several years.

The finals are played over several matches through May at both teams' home venues (Kalev/Cramo play at the Kalevi Spordihall in Tallinn), until such time as a team clinches three victories. The series stands at one apiece after Wednesday's game, while the next encounter is in Tallinn Saturday.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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