Current vice-champion of the Superleague – Kutaisi went to semifinals. Kote Tughushi’s team defeated Titebi 93:87 in the 4th match of the quarterfinal series, which means they won 3:1 in total. Titebi, trained by Lasha Gamkrelidze, finished the season with it. This was a quite successful season for debutants. Titebi won the Georgian Cup, retained place in the Superleague and played suitably in playoffs.
Kutaisi traditionally continues fighting for the first place. Last year’s unchanged finalist is not in shape for this moment, which is due to injuries. Three leading players are missing owing to this reason – Levan Patsatsia, De Juan Wright and Terrens Thompson. In this situation, Kutaisi couldn’t perform as it was desired, but then, Beso Lezhava was fouled out due to unsportsmanlike behavior and Titebi’s advantage started to fall down. The guests used this chance and gained leaderswhip.
Titebi won the first period 24:17, but thanks to Akaki Dvalishvili’s effectiveness, Kutaisi managed to gain 11-points advantage before the big break – 48:37. Dvalishvili played perfevctly both under the reem and behind the arc. He finished the first half with 19 points.
The match renewed with Kutaisi’s active and effective play. They increased leadership to 14 points in the beginning of the third period. Titebi changed defensive tactics, which showed a desired result. Ilia Londaridze was a quite productive in 3 second zone, while Kaheem Ransom made effective fast breaks couple of times. Temur Babbunashvili’s long range shoots are also noteworthy. Eventually, Titebi turned this 14-points difference into 4-points advantage at the end of the quarter – 70:66.
6:30 minutes before the end, the hosts managed to increase their leadership to 9 points – 80:71. Kutaisians tried to tie the game this time. Akaki Dvalishvili scored a three-pointer again, this was followed by Giorgi Barbaqadze’s and Davit Lomidze’s free-throws. After Jonathan Lee’s two-pointer, the score was equalized 80:80. Eventually, Kutaisians set control over the remaining time and won 90:84.
Akaki Dvalishvili led the winners with 31 points and 10 rebounds. His PIR reached to 42. Davit Lomidze scored 23 points. Giorgi Barbaqadze and Jonathan Lee had 15 and 14 points respectively. Ilia Londaridze was the most effective with 29 points and 12 rebounds in Titebi. Kaheem Ransom had 21 and Joel Almeida had 15 points.
Kutaisi will meet Dinamo in semifinal matches. Matches of this series will start on May 13.