With the group stage of FIBA Europe Cup now in the books, BBL.net brings you a round-up of last week’s action and a look ahead at the prospects of the Baltic clubs to go even further.
Ventspils 96-73 PGE Turow
Having gone through the group stage without a single loss, Ventspils added an impressive 96-73 victory against the visiting PGE Turow to finish Group I play with a squeaky clean 6-0 record.
In an excellent all-around team performance, seven players reached double figures for the Latvian side, with Damier Pitts leading the way with 15 points. Andrejs Selakovs had 13 points and seven rebounds, while Kwamain Mitchell added 12 points and five assists.
The win also ensured that the other Baltic team in the group, Pieno Zvaigzdes, progressed to the next round. In the next stage, Ventspils will play against CEZ Nymburk, Antwerp Giants and Lukoil Academic.
Pieno Zvaigzdes 86-76 Helios Suns
Pieno Zvaigzdes were one of the last teams to punch a ticket to the next round, as the Lithuanians registered an 86-76 victory against Helios Suns to claim the second place in the group with a 3-3 mark after getting help from Ventspils, who defeated PGE Turow in the other game in Group I.
An impressive performance by Demond Carter paved the way for the Pieno Zvaigzdes victory, as the American scored 21 points, grabbed five rebounds and dished out four assists. Zygimantas Skucas was solid once again, scoring 16 points, while veteran Steponas Babrauskas collected 15.
Drawn into the same group as the legendary BC Cibona, the Pasvalys side will also face STB Le Havre and Energia Targu Jiu in the next stage.
Khimik 81-56 TU/Rock
It wasn’t the best way to end the group stage, but an 81-56 loss to Khimik did not impact TU/Rock, 3-3, in any way, as the Estonian side had secured a place in the next round already in the penultimate round.
Interestingly enough, all ten registered players for TU/Rock scored in the game, but none of them scored more than Evaldas Zabas’ team-high nine points. Tanel Kurbas added eight points in a generally low-scoring effort for the Tartu club.
Waiting for TU/Rock in the next round are a number of well-known clubs: BC Enisey, FoxTown Cantu and Elan Chalon.
Juventus 94-67 ETHA
Despite finishing third in Group L, Juventus progressed to the next round as one of the best third-placed teams with a 3-3 record and a good point differential after an impressive 94-67 victory against ETHA at home in Utena.
The big man duo of Edgaras Zelionis and Egidijus Dimsa scored 16 points each, while Chavaughn Lewis and Martynas Linkevicius collected 15 points apiece.
Juventus will play against Mons-Hainaut, Bakken Bears and their Group L rivals Khimik in the next stage in what can probably considered a rather favorable draw.
Inter Bratislava 85-100 Siauliai
Siauliai became the only Triobet BBL team to fall short of qualifying for the next round in FIBA Europe Cup, despite finishing the regular season with a solid 100-85 win against Inter on the road in the Slovakian capital Bratislava.
Assem Marei had a monstrous double-double of 17 points and 15 rebounds on excellent 8-of-9 shooting from the field, Cameron Ayers also scored 17, while Arturas Jomantas had 16 points, six rebounds and seven assists.
Having won three games and lost three, the back-to-back Baltic champions finished third in Group M.
Estonian side Kalev/Cramo, who are not participating in Triobet BBL this season, also did not qualify, losing all six games in Group H.