BBL Monthly Review: November

We have just finished the first full month of the 2017-2018 season, so let’s take a moment to recap everything that’s taken place so far in and around the Baltic Basketball League with the BBL Monthly Review: November edition.

 

MVP. Steven Cook claimed the first individual award, as he led Tartu to a record of 4-1 with outstanding all-around play. Not only is he the league’s top scorer, but he’s also among the top rebounding players and in the top three when it comes to three-point shooting. The swingman averaged 20.8 points, 7.8 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.5 steals, while his team sits amongst the leaders of Group B.

INTERNATIONAL BREAK. The national teams of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia all took part in the European qualifiers, with the latter two splitting the bill with 1 win and 1 loss, while the Lithuanians had a great break, bringing in two big wins.


Estonia had the largest delegation of BBL players, with Kristjan Kitsing and Janar Talts of Tartu, TTU’s Sten  Olmre and AVIS Utilitas’ Indrek  Kajupank all making performances. Of these four, Kristjan Kitsing was the most impactful, making his way to a 13.5 point average.

For the Latvian selection, Pieno Zvaigzdes’ Arturs  Ausejs was the only BBL player to step foot on the court, but did not leave a greater mark.

RECORD. Viktors Iljins would have been a shoe-in candidate for the monthly MVP trophy if it wasn’t his team’s struggles as a group. However, he did put up an impressive individual performance in Valmiera/ORDO’s only win, setting the season record for most rebounds, while also scoring in bunches. The big man finished the game with an astonishing double-double of 19 points and 20 rebounds, as the Latvian side defeated Tallinna Kalev/TLU.

UNDEFEATED. A month in, there’s only one team in each group that hasn’t suffered a loss. In Group A, surprisingly, it is Jurmala, who have been shockingly good on both the national and international levels, sitting amongst the leaders in the Latvian league and enjoying a 4-0 record in BBL. In Group B, it’s Pieno zvaigzdes with the highest winning record, also at 4-0.

HOTSEAT. Apparently, a 4-0 record in BBL and a decent performance in the Lithuanian league didn't guarantee a coaching position for Pieno zvaigzdes’ Rimantas Grigas. He was recently sacked, as former Juventus’ coach Gediminas Petrauskas recently took the reigns.

TECHNICALS AND EJECTIONS. Probably the most hot-headed person in current-day Baltic basketball, Virginijus Seskus made his presence known in his team’s technical loss against AVIS Utilitas Rapla. Seskus received his second technical foul with the scored tied and just a couple minutes left in the game and withdrew his team with him.

WINLESS. Speaking of the teams that have yet to climb out of their losing slumps, Tsmoki-Minsk and Betsafe Liepaja come to mind. These two clubs have suffered 4 losses each with no wins and share the last spot in Group A.