A beast amongst the boards, say no more. Thomas van der Mars has once again been chosen the Triobet BBL Player of the Week with another terrific performance. It was his work under the boards that ensured AVIS Rapla’s win against visiting Jurmala/Fenikss.
Van der Mars had a typical double-double, with superb efficiency. The big man scored 12 points, tore down 15 rebounds and added 3 steals, 2 blocks and 2 assists as the cherry on top. The efficiency rating of 28 puts him number one this week, and makes him the league’s runner-up in efficiency overall, falling behind to just Denis Krestinin, who would actually have claimed the trophy had his team won.
The 26-year-old Dutchman is averaging a steady double-double of 18.2 points (5th in the league) and 11.6 rebounds (3rd in the league), while also chipping in with 1.4 steals and 1.2 blocks per game.
While there were just three games played this week, Thomas van der Mars faced some stiff competition from Jurijs Aleksejevs. The Jekabpils’ forward was just behind with 27 efficiency points, as he scored 19 points and added 5 boards, 5 assists and 3 blocks to the tally.
We didn’t get to see too much Triobet BBL basketball this past week, with just three games being played, but it’s okay, other European competitions have us covered. BBL.net keeps you up to date with what’s been going on with the eight clubs joining us come Playoffs in the weekly round-up.
The regular season of the 7DAYS EuroCup is soon coming to a close with just two games remaining, but Lietkabelis have already secured a ticket to the next round, despite a 68-69 loss against Cedevita Zagreb this week. The Lithuanians managed to erase a double-digit deficit, but just didn’t have enough in them to see out the game, falling short by one point.
VTB United League
Kalev/Cramo faced European powerhouse CSKA Moscow and didn’t really have too much of a chance at victory. The Russian team was far superior in nearly every aspect of the game and enjoyed a 68-87 win. This loss drops Kalev/Cramo’s record to 2-4.
Basketball Champions League
Ventspils secured a somewhat unexpected win against Lithuanian silver medalists Neptunas, who were previously unbeaten in the tournament. Led by Willie Deane, who scored 22, the Latvians managed to pull through in the final quarter, as they secured their third victory in six games, 66-61.
The other Baltic team in the tournament– Juventus, continue to dominate the standings. This time, their victory did not come easy, as they managed to squeeze past KK Mornar, 75-73, as the Montenegrins mounted a fourth quarter comeback. With a 5-1 record, the Utena side is currently the sole leaders of Group D.
FIBA Europe Cup
The first stage of the FIBA Europe Cup has come to a close, and three of four Triobet BBL teams will not move on in the competition, as only Vytautas managed to show some quality in the group stage.
Vytautas’ latest victory comes in against fellow Baltic club TLU/Kalev, which they absolutely demolished by a huge margin. 96-55 road win for the league’s highest-scoring team and a well-deserved ticket to the next round.
The three other teams – Siauliai, Tartu and the aforementioned TLU/Kalev – combined for a horrible record of 0-14.
Siauliai, however, did show some improvements in their sixth straight loss, and were just a couple steps away from victory. They faced Czech club BK Pardubice and were eventually taken care of, 85-89.
Tartu ended their FIBA Europe Cup campaign with their fourth loss already last week, as they had to face defeat at the hands of Pau-Lacq-Orthez.
RAPLA – Jurmala/Fenikss went down for the fourth time in five games after breaking down in the second half. AVIS Rapla managed to take control in the third quarter and secured a 70-56 win in the only Triobet BBL game on Wednesday evening.
It all started out tit-for-tat, as the two sides held no more than a four point margin in the first quarter. We didn’t see too much of a different sight in the second quarter either, although Rapla had managed to get marginally ahead when they got off to an 8-2 start to the quarter. Nevertheless, the six-point lead didn’t hold long, and once again, we had a neck to neck race.
The Estonians finally managed to create some breathing space in the middle of the third quarter, as a 13-2 run finally pushed their lead to double-digits. Three quarters in, it was a nine point game.
AVIS Rapla started the final quarter on a high note, as they extended their margin to 15 after three minutes. Jurmala/Fenikss did not manage to cut into the deficit and went down for the fourth time.
Thomas van der Mars made another strong claim for the Player of the Week honors with an unbelievable performance under the rim. The big man scored 12 points and pulled down 15 rebounds, amassing an efficiency rating of 28.
Indrek Kajupank added 18 points, while Sven Kaldre and Domen Bratoz had 16 and 11, respectively.
Arturs Strelnieks was the leading scorer for Jurmala/Fenikss with 13 points, while Edgars Jeromanovs chipped in with 11. He was also responsible for half of the team’s assists – 6, but also committed 9 turnovers.
PARNU – The second game of the night came with no less intrigue, as Port of Parnu put up a spectacular comeback effort in the final minutes of the game against Barons kvartals to send it to overtime. The Estonians enjoyed a great five extra minutes and came out victorious, 88-82.
Barons had the upper hand in the final quarter, as they steadily built up their small lead, going up by five after one. The Estonians, however, responded well and were on the run, nudging ahead by one point at the break. That was where, as some might have thought, their luck had run out.
Barons kept their opponents quiet for most of the third quarter, allowing just seven points throughout the quarter. While they didn’t burn the nets with their own scoring, it gave them a platform to build on.
With a five point spread on the table, it could have easily gone either way, but Barons were adamant to push the game out of contention. They managed to tally a ten-point lead and looked in strong position to succeed.
However, everything seemed to be going wrong for the Latvians in the final minutes, and a solid nine point advantage they held at the two-minute mark melted quicker than butter on a hot pan. Port of Parnu made EVERY SINGLE SHOT they took, and with 38 seconds on the clock, were already up by one. Davis Zonne made up for his missed free-throws with a three-pointer to bring the lead back to their side. But once again, Parnu did not miss, making both free-throws to send the game to overtime.
Parnu immediately took control in overtime, pushing ahead. The final nail to Barons’ coffin was Teddy Okereafor’s three-pointer, pushing the gap to five. The Latvians could not respond, and faced an unexpected loss.
Vaidotas Volkus and Saimon Sutt led Parnu in scoring with 18 points apiece, but Volkus let a lot of the fans down with his efficiency. He made just 9-of-24 of his shots, including 2-of-5 from the free-throw line and was benched due to five personal fouls. Teddy Okereafor added 16 points and 5 assists, while Edvinas Seskus had 15 to his name. Rannar Raap ended the game with 13.
On the other team, it was two Lithuanians with big performances. Tauras Jogela led the way in scoring with 19 points and 7 rebounds, while Denis Krestinin was a beast under the boards. He scored 15 points and broke the season record for most rebounds, with 18. Both Reinis Strupovics and Kristaps Mediss had 12 points to their names.
JEKAPBILS – Visiting TTU put up a great fight against one of the top teams of the tournament, Jekabpils, as they ultimately fell short after breaking down in the third quarter. The Estonians managed to fight back, but just a tad too late. Fifth victory in six games for Jekabpils, as the scoreboard screams 87-90.
The first four minutes of the game really didn’t signal a happy evening for the Estonians, as they were pushed down to the ground with a 13-4 deficit. Nevertheless, Joonas Jarvelainen managed to keep them afloat, scoring 11 in the first quarter alone.
He added 8 more in TTU’s 13-3 three minute run, handing the Estonians their game-high eight point advantage. Jekabpils came bouncing back, though, and tied the game up with a lay-up to end the half.
The Latvians came out slow, but got into a rhythm and started making nearly everything from behind the arc, converting on six three-pointers in just over half a quarter. That sort of barrage from distance allowed them to jump ahead by 11.
The Latvian side maintained a solid lead for most of the final quarter and with less than two minutes one the clock, were still up by double-digits. However, TTU still managed to light a fire under them, as Jarvelainen’s last three-pointer cut the deficit to just 3.
Roberts Stumbris was a nuisance from long-range, draining five shots for 15 of his 21 points. Jurijs Aleksejevs also lit it up, as notched 19 points. Pavels Veselovs added 14 points. While the guard duo of Rinalds Sirsnins and Renars Magone had 11 and 10 points, respectively.
Only five players recorded points for TTU, as Jarvelainen led the way with 28. Sten Olmre was also impressive, scoring 22 points, while Toomas Raadik added 18 points and 8 rebounds. Nikola Vujovic chipped in with 13, while team captain Kiur Akenparg had a rough night, scoring just six points on 11 shots.
A lot of stories this week, as we‘ve had some truly exciting basketball in the Triobet BBL. Let‘s round it all up in the sixth volume of the Triobet BBL Weekly Review.
MVP. Justin Baker has once again proved his play can mean the world to Tarvas. A couple weeks ago, he amassed 29 points, 8 rebounds and 4 steals, and Tarvas was just a shot away from their first win. This time, he was good for an efficiency rating of 29 with 19 points and 10 boards, while Tarvas finally managed to put its‘ losing streak to an end.
RECORDS. They say any publicity is good publicity. But any record is definitely not a good record. Borisfen managed to achieve a couple of those in their game against Valmiera. First of all, they broke their own record of least points scored in a quarter (2), and then points scored in a game (46). Coincidentally, the 60-46 loss was the closest game they’ve had this year in the Triobet BBL.
LLLLLL. Nope, that‘s not a typo. That‘s Borisfen‘s results in their last six meetings. Three blow-out losses by an average of 28.7 points this week now push their record to an abysmal 0-6. Hey, at least they‘re being consistent...
UNDEFEATED? Technically, we still have one unbeaten team in the Triobet BBL in Barsy, after Pieno Zvaigzdes suffered their first loss of the season from league newcomers Ogre Kumho/Tyre. The Kazakhs have yet to play their first game of the season and will remain undefeated at least until the sixth of December, when they play Nevezis.
STREAK. In the meantime, Ogre currently hold the longest winning streak in the league, as they‘ve won four straight after falling short in their first game of the season. The latest win, as we‘ve already mentioned, was against Pieno Zvaigzdes, who hadn‘t lost a single game before facing the Latvians.
MVP II. We’re in for some feisty competition in the Play-offs if Lietkabelis continue playing the way they have. This week Gintaras Leonavicius put up MVP-worthy numbers in the team’s win against Skopje MZT and was named the 7Days Eurocup Player of the Week.
Yesterday evening, Tarvas steamrolled past Borisfen, finally claiming their first win with an 87-52 result. And for Estonian side, there was no man more important than Justin Baker, who turned in a top-notch performance and earned weekly MVP honors.
The American big man was very efficient in all aspects of the game, as he scored 19 points shooting 7-of-9 from the field, made all his free-throws and added 10 rebounds to the total. The center amassed an impressive 29 rating points and was the best amongst winning performers.
This follows another spectacular performance last time around, where he scored 29 points, recorded 8 rebounds and 4 steals. However, Tarvas fell short of Jekabpils in the final seconds of the game.
Overall, Justin has excelled this year, as he is second in the league in scoring with 21.0 PPG, fourth in rebounds (8.5 RPG) and his 22.8 efficiency makes him the third-best player in the league.
RAKVERE – There is one less winless team in the Triobet BBL after tonight, as the battle between Group B bottomfeeders Tarvas and Borisfen ended in the home side‘s win, 87-52. Tarvas finally lifted a 5-game losing streak, while Borisfen now sit at 0-6.
It didn’t take long for Tarvas to jump ahead tonight, as just halfway through the first quarter, the score was one sided – 15-3. The lead remained in the Estonians’ hands for the rest of the half, swinging between 10 and 15 points, as Borisfen actually managed to put up a fight in the second period.
However, the Belorussians absolutely broke down right after the half-time break. Tarvas dominated all aspects of the game, and upped their lead to 35 in just the ten minutes. It would be hard for any team to jump back into the game after a quarter like that, and Borisfen could not get up after this knock-down.
The final minutes were merely a matter of formality, and Tarvas finally got their first win.
A lot of exciting basketball from all over Europe! BBL.net keeps you up to date with what’s been going on with the eight clubs joining us come Playoffs in the weekly round-up.
Lietkabelis successfully returned to EuroCup basketball after a week-long break with a win against MZT Skopje. Led by Gintaras Leonavicius, who came off the bench and was eventually named the weekly MVP with a 31 performance index rating, they managed an 87-80 win in Macedonia.
Basketball Champions League
Ventspils didn’t have the best performance in their road loss against ASVEL, as they crashed and burned in the second half despite being ahead at halftime. The French side ran off in the third quarter and managed to improve the lead in the final quarter as well. Final score: 68-83.
Juventus, on the other hand, achieved a great victory over Group D rivals Cibona. The Lithuanians dominated throughout the game and ended up finishing up by 24, scoring high to reach a 104-82 result. They are one of two teams on top of their group with 4 wins and 1 loss.
FIBA Europe Cup
It was an astonishingly high-scoring affair in Tigru Mures, where Vytautas took on BC Mures. After a hard-fought and fast-paced battle, the home side managed to take the win, defeating the Lithuanians 101-109.
Tartu was once again unsuccessful in Group E, as they were taken care of by Pau Lacq Orthez, 68-89. After a slow start, the Estonian side showed some signs of life after the break, but were ultimately rebuffed and left in the dust in the final ten minutes.
Siauliai faced Greek club APOEL and, this time, they weren't that far away from victory. Still a double-digit loss, but this one at least by a decent deficit, 65-76. Not much time to turn the season around for the Lithuanians, and they are said to be bringing in reinforcements.
TALLINN – Another loss now makes it five in a row for BBL newcomers Borisfen, as they fell short of TTU and were forced to an 97-60 defeat, making it five losses in a row.
While Borisfen jumped off to a good start, pushing ahead by 8, the first quarter didn’t really bode too well for the Byelorussians. TTU scored 37 points to leave Borisfen in their rear-view mirror.
While the second quarter was much closer, that wasn’t much of a consolation for the visiting side, as they entered the mid-way point down by 19. Even worse, that wasn’t even the end of their misery.
Borisfen didn’t manage to tame the TTU club and the margin expanded even more – after three quarters, they found themselves down by 25.
The fourth quarter proved to be the final piece to TTU’s biggest win this season, as the 25-13 quarter put the game to bed. It was a 97-60 score after 40 minutes of basketball.
Five players were in double-digit scoring for TTU, as Toomas Raadik led the cause with 17. Joonas Jarvelainen added 15, while Silver Suurorg had 11. Sten Olmre and Ivalo Pajumets both finished the game with 10 points.
Maksim Kozlovets was the highest scorer on the other side, as he scored 12 points and added 12 rebounds to the total. Vytautas Kamarunas added 9, while the trio of Andrii Maysh, Yauheni Ivanou and Maksim Sazonau.