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PAOK - Ventspils: 85-81 at overtime...


30/11/2016


PAOK snapped a three-game losing streak but needed overtime to do it at home against Ventspils on Wednesday.

After trailing by as many as 14 points in the first half, the Greeks prevailed 85-81 to leave both sides with three victories and four defeats in Group C.

"It was a tough game versus a good team," said PAOK guard Darrell Bryant. "I think we did a good job defensively down the stretch and got some stops when we needed and that's why we got the lead." 

Ventspils had the big advantage early on but PAOK reeled off 15 straight points to lead 31-30. Jordan Sibert, who had 16 points for the winners, really helped swing the momentum for his team with a four-point play after getting fouled while drilling a 3-ball on the wing in front of the hosts' bench.

Bryant also made all three free-throws after being hit while attempting a shot from the arc.

After the PAOK comeback, neither side was able to open up a substantial lead. Ventspils, winners at home last week against previously unbeaten Neptunas Klaipeda, had an opportunity to win the game in regulation when Willie Deane was fouled with just over five seconds remaining and his team down 71-70.

Deane, who had made all seven of his free-throw attempts, missed the first free-throw but then drilled the second to knot the contest and send it to overtime.

In the extra period, Deane scored to give the visitors a 73-72 lead but Linos Chrysikopoulos replied with a basket to start an 11-0 run that put PAOK in front to stay. 

The Greek side had a lot of ups and downs in the game but made just enough plays to get a vital win.

"We made a couple of foolish mistakes, myself and everyone else," Bryant said. "We just have to be responsible for our play. We're going to make mistakes but we can't make certain mistakes."

Ventspils were left to rue a missed opportunity and especially their inability to make the most of their big early advantage.

"We started really good and had a lot of energy," said shooting guard Aigars Skele, "then we had the worst second quarter in our season. They got back in the game and the crowd was supporting them. They played good, we missed shots and had too many turnovers.

"I like the fact that we kept fighting but we lost. We were one free-throw away from the win but that's basketball. In the overtime, we made too many turnovers."

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