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FRANKFURT, Germany – A last second loss in their latest Eurochallenge outing has left Ventspils needing to win their final game to advance to the round of 16, while Latvian Kaspars Kambala singlehandedly denied Rock victory in Bulgaria.
In what is widely considered the third tier tournamentj of European club basketball, two Baltic teams were on display on Tuesday night, with neither getting the results they desired. Both playing away from home VEF Riga fell to the Skyliners 72-71 while Rock did not fare any better, falling to Lukoil Academic 74-64.
Despite sitting atop Group B, their loss on Tuesday night has denied Ventspils entry into the second round for at least another week with three teams still vying for the top two positions in the group.
Ventspils led throughout on Tuesday, a Rashad Anderson foul seven seconds from time would prove their undoing with Dashaun Wood converting both shots from the line.
Andersonhad a chance to redeem himself on the stroke of full time but his shot went astray, giving the Skyliners the win.
Andersonwould finish the game with 15 points.
The news was not much better for Estonian club Rock in Bulgaria when they took on Lukoil Academic.
Former Latvian national team member Kaspars Kambala starred for the hosts with his 19 point, 13 rebound performance clinching the win for the hosts.
Rock looked like producing a late comeback when they came within four points with a little over five minutes remaining but the gap opened again as quickly as it had closed.
Rain Veideman and George Tzintsadze shared top scoring honors for Rock with 12 points apiece.