LAST 4! Two Lithuanian clubs and one team representing Latvia and Estonia are all among the last four participants. And all four clubs were the highest ranked after the regular season! Can last season’s champs Siauliai repeat their success, or will Juventus, Rock or Ventspils dethrone them?
COMEBACK. After losing the first leg matchup versus Pieno Zvaigzdes by 11 points, Juventus had a tough task ahead of them. Nevertheless, powered by a 1500-strong army of fans, the Utena side managed to blow past their rivals by 20 points in the return game.
PLAYOFF BASKETBALL. Gritty and rough, that’s how playoff basketball should be played. Compared to the Eighthfinals stage, the scoring during the Quarterfinals has dropped from 158.5 to 142.5 points per game. A real example of defensive basketball was the first game between TU/Rock and Liepaja/Triobet, where the teams combined for just 108 points – the lowest score this season.
OVERTIME DRAW? Yes, you read that right. The game between Tartu Rock and Liepaja/Triobet went right down to the wire and even an extra five minutes were played. Yet, the game still ended in a draw, which was clearly more useful for the Estonians, as they had a 10-point advantage after the first game.
REMATCH. Three of the four teams apart from Juventus were part of the Olybet BBL Cup at the start of the season, so there are a couple of looming rematches. However, they’ll happen either in the final or in the battle for third place.
DERBY. It’s a Lithuanian derby in one of the semifinals, as Juventus face off against last season’s champions Siauliai. These two clubs have met three times already in the Lithuanian Basketball League and the Utena side took two very narrow victories.
Rolandas Alijevas of Siauliai is the MVP of the Quarterfinals after he had a season night in the opening game and followed it up with another solid performance. The Lithuanian point guard averaged 16.5 points, 3 rebounds and 7.5 assists in the series against Lietkabelis.
Michael Dixon Jr. was a very big part of the first win in the series and was pretty much the only bright spot in an otherwise terrible performance in the second leg of Pasvalys’ series against Juventus. The American averaged 16 points, 5.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists in the two games.
Nikolaos Gkikas had two more rock-solid games to add to the total, as he led Ventspils past Pyrinto with averages of 12 points, 5.5 rebounds and 5.5 assists – all in a very efficient manner.
Next up in the countdown is Juventus’ Egidijus Dimsa, who played a key role in the club’s turnaround. The forward averaged 12 points and 8 rebounds during the Quarterfinals.
After a below average first leg game, Simas Buterlevicius bloomed in Juventus’ comeback, where he scored 19 points and tore down 9 boards. The swingman averaged 15.5 points, 6 rebounds and 2.5 assists in the series.