Qualifying Round Round 1 - September 29, 2009 CET: 19:00 Local time: 20:00 - ARENA RIGA

Records

Ave.   Ave.
0-0 Qualifying Round 0-0
0-0 Overall 0-0

Referees

Crew Chief
DRABIKOVSKY, VOLODYMR, Ukraine
Referee
JASEVICIUS, TOMAS, Lithuania
Umpire
SHULGA, BORIS, Ukraine

Team Stats

Ave.   Ave.
0 Points 0
0 Rebounds 0
0 O. Rebounds 0
0 D. Rebounds 0
0 Assists 0
0 Steals 0
0 Blocks 0
0 Turnovers 0
0 2PT 0
0 3PT 0
0 FT 0
0 Index 0

Player Stats

Ave.   Ave.
0 Points 0
0 Rebounds 0
0 OR 0
0 DR 0
0 Assists 0
0 Steals 0
0 Blocks 0
0 Turnovers 0
0 2PT 0
0 3PT 0
0 FT 0
0 Index 0

THE TAKE

The 2009-10 Euroleague begins on Tuesday, September 29, with the new qualifying rounds, whose first game tips off in Ventspils, Latvia, where local BK Ventspils takes on Benetton Basket Treviso. Ventspils aims to reach the Euroleague for the first time, while Benetton targets a spot in the regular season after a two-year break. Head coach Agris Galvanovskis’s squad brings back seven players from last season’s Latvian League winners including swingman Mareks Jurevicus and big man Ronalds Zakis. Three rising stars, point guard Janis Strelnieks, shooting guard Dairis Bertrans and center Lauris Blaus, will get the chance to show their stuff for Ventspils and could prove to be major factors for the club. Meanwhile center Aaron Pettway adds some size down low and is the only player on the Ventspils roster over the age of 25. Benetton has a far more experienced club that reached the Eurocup Final Eight last year. Players like Davor Kus, Jasmin Hukic, Gary Neal and Sandro Nicevic all boast previous Euroleague experience. The frontline with Nicevic, C.J. Wallace, Andrea Renzi and Donatas Motiejunas is big and strong, while Cartier Martin and Neal are formidable scoring threats on the wings. The key for Ventspils in Game 1 will be to make best use of its home-court advantage and to keep its young stars like Bertans and Strelnieks focused on what may be the biggest game of their career yet. On the other hand Benetton head coach Frank Vitucci will make use of his bench to try to wear down the opponents, all the while knowing that his team hosts the deciding leg at home on Friday.

REFEREES: Volodymr Drabikovsky, Tomas Jasevicius, Boris Shulga

 
BK Ventspils
BK Ventspils
#
Name
Pos.
Height
-
Karlis Apsitis
G
1.95
-
Martins Berkis
F
1.98
-
Dairis Bertrans
G
1.92
-
Arturs Berzins
F
2.04
-
Lauris Blaus
C
2.04
-
Mareks Jurevicus
F
1.98
-
Kristaps Kanbergs
G
1.90
-
Davis Lejasmeiers
G
1.90
-
Aaron Pettway
C
2.09
-
Davis Coders
G
1.80
-
Mikus Sokolovs
F
1.94
-
Janis Strelnieks
G
1.91
-
Ronalds Zakis
C
2.07
-
Martins Meiers
C
2.02
Head Coach: Agris Galvanovskis
Benetton Basket Treviso
Benetton Basket
#
Name
Pos.
Height
4
Andrea De Nicolao
G
1.80
5
Davor Kus
G
1.91
7
Jasmin Hukic
F
2.04
8
Cartier Martin
G
2.01
10
Sandro Nicevic
C
2.10
11
Donatas Motiejunas
F
2.13
12
Daniele Sandri
G
1.94
13
Daniel Hackett
G
1.99
14
Gary Neal
G
1.93
15
Alessandro Gentile
G
1.96
18
C.J. Wallace
F
2.06
19
Andrea Renzi
F
2.08
20
Andrea Saccaggi
G
1.90
-
Agustin Fabi
-
-
Head Coach: Frank Vitucci
Monday, September 28, 2009
Euroleague.net

Quotes Head Coaches

Players

Aaron Pettway - BK VentspilsBK Ventspils took a step forwards to becoming the first Latvian team to play the Euroleague since 1961 by downing Benetton Gioco Digitale 78-73 in the first leg of the Qualifying Round 1 in Riga on Tuesday. Ventspils has a five-point lead as the series moves to Treviso, Italy for the second and last game on Friday. The winner by aggregate score after the two games will advance to the second qualifying round next week. Big man Aaron Pettway put the winners on his back and finished with a monster double-double: 20 points on 8-for-10 two-pointers, 17 rebounds and 3 blocks. Mareks Jurevicus added 13 points for Ventspils, Dairis Bertans had 12 while Janis Strelnieks scored 11 points and dished 5 assists. Daniel Hackett led Benetton with 13 points. Sandro Nicevic and Gary Neal each added 11 for the guests. Ventspis had full control of the game for 35 minutes and led by as much as 71-58 midway through the fourth quarter. CJ Wallace and Jasmin Hukic fueled Benetton's comeback to within 75-73, but Bertans and Jurevicus allowed all Ventspils fans to celebrate a big home win in the end. Even when some Latvian teams took part in preliminary rounds without reaching the Euroleague regular season in the 1990s, no team from this country has played Europe's signature competition since ASK made it to the two-way finals against CSKA 48 years ago.

Bertans got Ventspils going with an outstanding driving dunk that Cartier Martin matched with a four-meter jumper. Pettway got the crowd involved with a three-point play, as Benetton could not find its scoring rhythm early. Janis Strelnieks and Martin traded layups but a jumper by Bertans gave Ventspils a 9-4 lead. Daniel Hackett took over with a layup-plus-free throw in transition, as Ventspils tried to keep feeding Pettway down low. Jurevicus and Hackett traded baskets but Berzins made foul shots for a 13-10 score. Donatas Motejiunas came off the bench and immediately hit a jump hook that Martin followed with free throws to give Benetton its first lead, 13-14. Pettway sank a turnaround jumper that Motejiunas erased with free throws. Then, however, Ronalds Zakis came off the bench to rescue Ventspils with a big dunk, a triple and a put-back layup in a 12-1 run that Pettway capped with a wild three-point play. All of a sudden, Ventspils had a double-digit lead, 27-17, after 10 minutes.

Gary Neal - Benetton Gioco Digitale Zakis picked up his third foul early in the second quarter, leaving Ventspils without a scoring reference. Both teams soon entered the foul bonus and tried to make the most out of it. Berzins hit 4-of-4 foul shots to keep Ventspils way ahead, 30-20. Both teams tried to play more physical to go to the foul line as often as possible. Neal stepped up with a put-back basket and free throws to bring Benetton back to life, 31-25. Youngster Andrea De Nicolao took over with a coast-to-coast layup that Strelnieks matched with foul shots. Davor Kus buried Benetton's first three-pointer but Strelnieks answered from downtownin a 7-0 Ventspils run that Berzins capped with a layup that gave the hosts some fresh air, 40-30. Benetton could not find the way to the basket while a jumper by Lauris Blaus made it an 11-point game, 42-31. Bertans got the crowd involved with a wild triple while Lauris Blaus added an easy layup to give the hosts a safe margin, 47-35, at halftime.

Nicevic tried to ignite Benetton's comeback with a close-in jumper after the break. Hackett soon dunked it off a midcourt steal to bring Benetton within single digits, 47-38. Pettway kept pacing Ventspils with a power layup and Strelnieks nailed one from downtown for a 52-40 score. Martin sank a mid-range jumper off the dribble that a red-hot Pettway matched with a backdoor layup. Neal buried a five-meter shot and Hackett sank a triple to make it a seven-point game, 54-47, as Benetton had finally adjusted its defense with Wallace amd Nicevic together on court. Pettway - who else? - hit a jumper and Blaus added a layup-plus-foul, as Lee left the game once he picked up his second unsportsmanlike foul. Ventspils kept rolling, as Jurevicus followed a big triple with consecutive baskets for a 68-53 lead. Benetton could not find open shots now but Hukic sank a corner triple that brought his team within 68-56 after 30 minutes.

An unstoppable Pettway scored again early in the fourth quarter and even when Nicevic answered with free throws, he didn't find much help around. Ventspils had started to opt for long possessions to run the game clock down, but it could find easy shots now. The hosts called timeout to stick to its game plan and even when Benetton stayed intense in defense, the guests failed to find easy points in the other end. Hukic buried another one from downtown to bring Benetton within 71-61, as Ventspils kept missing driving shots now late in each possession. Wallace joined the three-point shootout to make Ventspils call another timeout at 71-64. Nicevic scored down low while Wallace added a hook shot to the guests back in the game, 71-68, after a 0-10 run. Bertans rescued Ventspils with free throws that Wallace matched with an easy basket for a 73-70 score with 2 minutes to go. Blaus, Hukic and Bertans made free throws but Nicevic took over with a big basket in the low post for a 75-73 Benetton deficit. Hukic missed the go-ahead three-pointer while Bertans sealed the outcome from the foul line, 77-73. Kus picked up a late foul that allowed Jurevicus to fix the final score.
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Euroleague.net
Referees: DRABIKOVSKY, VOLODYMR (UKR), JASEVICIUS, TOMAS (LTU), SHULGA, BORIS (UKR)
Attendance: 3500
By Quarter1234
BK Ventspils27202110
Benetton Basket17172217
End of Quarter1234
BK Ventspils27476878
Benetton Basket17345673
Head coach: GALVANOVSKIS, AGRIS
BK Ventspils
# Player Min Pts 2FG
M-A
3FG
M-A
FT
M-A
Rebounds As St To Bl Fouls PIR
O D T Fv Ag Cm Rv
4 PETTWAY, AARON 33:02 20 8/10   4/4 4 13 17       3   3 3 38
7 SOKOLOVS, MIKUS DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
8 JUREVICUS, MAREKS 30:39 13 3/7 1/5 4/6 2 5 7 2 3 3     3 6 15
9 KANBERGS, KRISTAPS DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
11 STRELNIEKS, ARTURS 9:29     0/1     1 1 1             1
12 LEE, TONY CURTIS 6:26           3 3     4     2 1 -2
13 STRELNIEKS, JANIS 35:41 11 1/6 2/4 3/4   4 4 5 1 1     4 3 11
14 BERZINS, ARTURS 23:57 7 1/3 0/3 5/6 2 1 3 2   1     4 4 5
20 BLAUS, LAURIS 11:27 8 3/4   2/3 1 1 2         1 4 2 5
21 BERKIS, MARTINS 6:29           1 1     1     1 1  
30 ZAKIS, RONALDS 9:47 7 2/2 1/2   1   1     1     5   1
45 BERTANS, DAIRIS 33:03 12 2/7 1/4 5/6   2 2 4   2   1 2 4 8
Team             2 2     1         1
Totals 200:00 78 20/39 5/19 23/29 10 33 43 14 4 14 3 2 28 24 83
51.3% 26.3% 79.3%
Min: Minutes played; Pts: Points; 2FG M-A: 2-point Field Goals (Made-Attempted); 3FG M-A: 3-point Field Goals (Made-Attempted); FT M-A: Free Throws (Made-Attempted); Rebounds: O (Offensive), D (Defensive), T (Total); As: Assists; St: Steals; To: Turnovers; Bl: Blocks (Fv: In Favor / Ag: Against); Fouls: Cm (Commited), Rv (Received); PIR: Performance Index Rating
Head coach: VITUCCI, FRANCESCO
Benetton Basket
# Player Min Pts 2FG
M-A
3FG
M-A
FT
M-A
Rebounds As St To Bl Fouls PIR
O D T Fv Ag Cm Rv
4 DE NICOLAO, ANDREA 9:45 2 1/2 0/1   2 3 5           2   3
5 KUS, DAVOR 20:13 3 0/4 1/2   1 2 3     3   2 3 1 -6
7 HUKIC, JASMIN 22:48 7 0/2 2/7 1/2 2 6 8 2 1       2 2 10
8 MARTIN, CARTIER 21:27 8 3/5 0/3 2/4 1 2 3     1     5 2  
10 NICEVIC, SANDRO 28:30 11 3/7   5/7 1 1 2 2   1 1   4 4 9
11 MOTIEJUNAS, DONATAS 10:14 7 1/4   5/6 2   2         1 2 3 5
12 SANDRI, DANIELE DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
13 HACKETT, DANIEL 24:42 13 3/5 1/1 4/5 1   1 2 2 1     1 3 16
14 NEAL, GARY 33:41 11 3/9 0/5 5/6 4 6 10 1 2 1       6 17
18 WALLACE, C.J. 17:29 7 2/4 1/1 0/2   4 4 2   1 1   5 5 9
19 RENZI, ANDREA 11:11 4 1/3   2/4   1 1             2 3
20 SACCAGGI, ANDREA DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Team             1 1               1
Totals 200:00 73 17/45 5/20 24/36 14 26 40 9 5 8 2 3 24 28 67
37.8% 25% 66.7%
This game is not yet played

Head Coaches

GALVANOVSKIS, AGRIS
BK Ventspils
"The game went well enough. Maybe it’s even a good thing that won with by 5 instead of 15, because it probably would have given us too much confidence. Benetton had more experience and used it. Overall, we had more energy. Pettway made his shots and played well. If not for him, it would have been very difficult. He probably will not be so productive in every game, but the it was very useful tonight."
VITUCCI, FRANCESCO
Benetton Basket
"Congratulations to Ventspils, today they deserved to win. We played poorly, especially in the first quarter, when they scored 27 points. That is too much. We had a lot of problems with our man-to-man defense. In the last quarter, we played well and lost by only 5 five points. At home, we can win by more. The biggest problem was defense. Our goal is to return to the Euroleague. This is our first objective. The second is for the new players and experienced players to come together. None of the Ventspils players really surprised us, because our team was ready for it. We studied the opponents. I do not think that Benetton underestimated the opponent, Ventspils just played well, especially Pettway."

Players

STRELNIEKS, JANIS
BK Ventspils
"We played well, but in the third and fourth quarter we lacked patience. This game proves that not only can we play at a high level, but we can also win."
NEAL, GARY
Benetton Basket
"We played a bad first quarter against a very difficult opponent. Now we have to go home to Treviso and have the best possible response in the next game."
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