RAPLA – AVIS Rapla secured a comfortable victory as they took on Latvian visitors Liepaja/Triobet on Tuesday evening. The Latvians got ahead at the end of the first quarter, but from then on, it was all Rapla, as the Estonians managed to turn the table and won 83-71.
There wasn’t much to separate the two sides for the lion’s share of the first quarter, but Liepaja/Triobet managed to win the final 1:10 spread 7-0 and jumped ahead 25-19 after the first period.
Nevertheless, that lead didn’t stand for long, as the hosts were quick to regain ground and halfway through the second period, it was already them in front, leading 37-31. While the margin had reached eight points, the teams ended the half with just three points between them.
Right as the second half started, it began raining threes – AVIS Rapla nailed three consecutive long-range bombs in under a minute and pushed the lead to double-digits. They continued their dominant play and took total control of the game, as the lead rose to 16.
While the teams started off the final quarter with a 13-point spread, Liepaja/Triobet managed to bring back some intrigue into the game, cutting the deficit in half to just six with four minutes remaining. Nevertheless, the visitors turned the ball just too many times in the final minutes to stay competitive and lost by 12.
Rasham Suarez was a key to Rapla’s win, as he scored 21 points and chipped in with 8 rebounds. Kristjan Voolaid added 16 points, while Thomas van der Mars secured yet another double-double, scoring 14 and adding 15 rebounds to the tally. Sven Kaldre and Domen Bratoz were also effective, scoring 12 and 11 points, respectively.
Lateef Mcmullan had a big night scoring-wise, as he put up 26 points for Liepaja/Triobet, but he didn’t get too much help from his teammates, as Davis Rozitis was the only other Liepaja player in double-digit scoring with 10 points to his name. Carl Anthony Montgomery added 9 points and 7 rebounds to the tally.
TALLINN – The second game in a row finished in a similar fashion, as Pieno Zvaigzdes followed Nevezis’ footsteps and blew out their opponents. The Lithuanian side destroyed TTU 106-71 and improved to the best record in the league, 8-1.
The game was pretty much taken care of in the first quarter already, as Pieno Zvaigzdes ran off to a 19-point lead eight minutes into the game with a 25-6 start. The lead was slightly cut back in the next couple minutes, but the Lithuanians still enjoyed a comfortable lead.
Things didn’t get much better in the second period. Although, TTU were probably happy they didn’t get that much worse, seeing the way they played. Two quarters in, it was a one-sided affair, as Pieno Zvaigzdes looked down with a 20-point advantage, 53-33.
TTU showed some signs of life after the halftime break, as they slowly closed in on their opponents. Nevertheless, the hosts couldn’t get closer than 15 points, and Pieno Zvaigzdes used a couple of successful possessions to bring the lead back to 19 before the final quarter.
While it already seemed all said and done, the visitors managed to pile on some more points to their lead, as the margin reached game-high 35 points with the final shot.
Nikita Balashov had a terrific game for Pieno Zvaigzdes, scoring 22 points and tearing down 6 rebounds. Egidijus Dimsa added another 16 points to the tally, while Karolis Babkauskas ended the game with 15 points, 5 rebounds and 6 assists. Evaldas Zabas added 13 points, while Osvaldas Olisevicius ended up scoring 12. Justas Tamulis had 11 points, while Andriy Agafonov added 10.
Kiur Akenparg was the leader in scoring for TTU with 15 points in his account. Nikola Vujovic added 13, while Toomas Raadik had 12 on near-perfect shooting. Joonas Jarvelainen had a rough time finding ways to the basket, but still ended up scoring 11 points.
KEDAINIAI – It was another big loss for Barsy Atyrau, as they fell at the hands of Nevezis, following a heavy beating in the first half. The 103-73 win was Nevezis 7th overall, as they improved to a 7-3 record.
The game went back and forth for the five opening minutes, as it was a stalemate at 9-9 halfway into the first quarter. However, the Lithuanians managed to perform in the second part of the period and amassed a nine point lead after ten minutes of play.
It didn‘t take long for Nevezis to cement their lead, as they managed to stop the Kazakhs‘ offense and burst ahead in the latter part of the half. A 21-3 run pushed the margin to 28 points and sent the visitors to a knock-out.
There wasn‘t too much to talk about in the second half, as the two sides played some pretty level basketball. While the shots weren‘t falling for either side in the third period, they had more than their fair share of makes in the final fourth. Either way, the final buzzer signaled a lopsided victory for Nevezis and Barsy’s seventh straight loss.
Seven players reached double-digit scoring for Nevezis, as Toni Prostran led the way with 16. He also accounted for a number of his teammates’ points, as he dished out 10 assists. The trio of Karolis Petrukonis, Ignas Vaitkus (7 assists and 5 rebounds) and Ivan Smiljanic all had 14 points, while the latter also contributed 9 rebounds. Simonas Kymantas added 11 points, while Vaidotas Volkus and Arminas Kelmelis ended the game with 10.
On the other side, it was Pavel Ilin guiding the way, as he scored 17 points. Mikhail Yevstigneev added 11 points, while Trevin Parks and Vadim Matyukevich accounted for 10 points each.
There were just four games played this week in the Triobet BBL, but there's still plenty of action to cover. We‘re going to round it all up for you in our traditional Triobet BBL Weekly Review: Volume 12.
MVP. Before this week, the Triobet BBL Player of the Week award was won by four different players from Latvia, two from Lithuania and one from Netherlands (three times), USA and Ukraine each. We are happy to announce that we‘ve now got an Estonian Weekly MVP winner as well, as Sten Olmre raked in the first award of 2017. The TTU guard put up 27 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists, leading his team to a surprising victory against Jekabpils.
UNFINISHED COMEBACK. TTU played 35 minutes of top-notch basketball against Jekabpils, as they mounted an 18-point lead. However, their coach couldn‘t be too happy about the last 5 minutes, as what looked to be a blow-out nearly turned into an incredible collapse. Jekabpils put up a tremendous run and managed to cut the deficit to just two points. Nevertheless, cold-blooded free-throw shooting bailed out the Estonians and they went on to win, 86-82.
DOUBLE-DOUBLE. Thomas van der Mars‘ play was once again the highlight of AVIS Rapla‘s victory, as he was the bedrock on both ends of the court. The Dutchman contributed another double-double, scoring 16 points and tearing down 10 rebounds, while his club defeated Jurmala/Fenikss. This makes it van der Mars‘ 7th double-double in nine games and he’s heads and shoulders above anyone else in this category.
FROM HERO TO ZERO. December Triobet BBL MVP Edgars Jeromanovs didn’t have the best of starts to the year in his game against Rapla, as he made just one-of-eight of his field goals and finished the game with 4 points. Although he dished out 6 assists, Jurmala/Fenikss really missed his sharp shooting from beyond the arc.
END TO END. Valmiera/ORDO didn‘t have it too tough when they faced off against Ogre/Kumho Tyre. The hosts took the lead early and held on to it until the very end. The game’s highest margin was 18 points, but Ogre managed to dwindle it down to 10 before the game ended.
STREAKS. Valmiera’s latest victory made it six wins in a row for them in Group B, but they’re not the only one’s going on a winning streak. Barons kvartals are looking just as good in Group A, although their streak is currently five W’s. The two Latvian clubs are in pole positions of their respective groups, although Pieno Zvaigzdes will be looking to retake the reigns of Group B as soon as possible.
Basketball returns all around Europe after a short festive break. BBL.net presents you a weekly round-up of how the clubs that will be joining us at the start of the Triobet BBL Playoffs have been doing in other European competitions.
Lietkabelis started out the round of Top 16 of the 7Days EuroCup with a loss. It was a close game against one of the favorites of the tournament, Khimki, but the Lithuanians just couldn’t stop Alexey Shved, who scored 21 points, while also adding 7 rebounds and 7 assists. Final score: 80-88.
VTB United League
Kalev/Cramo haven’t done enough to return to winning ways, as they suffered yet another defeat. VEF got loose in the second quarter and kept their cool until the end, raking in a 66-78 victory. They now stand at a 5-5 record, while the Estonians dropped to 2-9, as their losing streak extended to seven.
Basketball Champions League
Ventspils’ New Year’s celebrations were extended in Varese, as they played some terrific basketball on a hostile turf. A great second quarter put them on route to a double-digit lead which they managed to hold on to until the very end, winning for the sixth time on eleven tries in Group C. The 88-82 victory against Varese moved them to the fourth position in the group with three games remaining.
Utena was also given another chance to celebrate, as their town heroes continued their successful run in Europe. Juventus defeated the colorful Mega Leks 85-78 and improved their record to 7-4. The Lithuanians are aiming high in Group B, as they threaten all three teams that are currently above them.
FIBA Europe Cup
Prienu-Birstono Vytautas suffered their first defeat in the second round of the FIBA Europe Cup, as fell far wide of Telekom Baskets Bonn. The Germans got in front in the first quarter, going up by eight, and then put the game to bed right after the break, as the margin increased to 17. The final score had blow-out written all over it, 70-89.
With just four games in the schedule, there wasn‘t too much competition for the latest Player of the Week award, but it‘s going to be a very welcome in Tallin, nevertheless. Sten Olmre of TTU is our latest Weekly MVP, as his dominant offensive showcase helped TTU shock Jekabpils.
The 21-year-old guard was simply unguardable, as he burried 27 points in the 86-82 victory against one of the top teams in Group B. Olmre also had 5 rebounds and 3 assists, thus tallying a total of 27 efficiency points.
The Estonian was also clutch in crunch time, as he scored on a couple vital possessions for TTU with just seconds to go.
Olmre himself is having a terrific season, and is putting up big numbers across the board. The guard averages 16.7 points, which is the 7th best result in the league. He also rebounds well – an average of 4.7 boards a game, while also assisting on 3.2 baskets every game. He is also in the top ten efficiency-wise.
This sort of play allowed TTU to improve their record to 4-5 with the surprising win against Jekabpils and really helps out in their run for the Play-offs.
RIGA – A second half surge allowed Barons to comfortably defeat Port of Parnu on Wednesday evening, as they took a 94-75 victory. Barons have now won 5 in a row and sit atop of Group A with 8 wins in ten games.
While Barons did have the upper hand at the start of the first quarter, it was still a nip-and-tuck affair for the greater part of the first half. Ten minutes in, the hosts kept their nose ahead, leading by five points.
Not much changed in the second quarter, as the margin hovered around a shot or two. Nevertheless, Parnu managed to go up by one right before the end of the first half.
Things got out of Parnu's hands after the break, as Barons slowly built their lead up. After playing out the final minutes of the third quarter well, the Latvians got ahead by seven and took on the fourth quarter a couple steps ahead.
Thing really clicked in the final fourth, as they quickly rose to a double-digit advantage, leaving Parnu far behind. The margin kept on growing and a game that seemed too close to call at halftime, became a blow-out.
Denis Krestinin was the leading scorer for barons, as he put up an impressive double-double of 16 points and 13 rebounds. Davis Zonne had 14 points in his account, while Kristaps Mediss added 13. Salvis Metra and Tyler Larson (7 rebounds and 7 assists) both had 12 points, while Roberts Freimanis chipped in with 11 points and 8 boards.
On the other end, it was Mikhel Kirves leading the way, as he scored 17 points, tore down 13 rebounds and stole the ball 4 times. Reinar Hallik added 15, while Edvinas Seskus and Karl Martin Kask had 14 points apiece. Saimon Sutt ended the game with 10.
TALLINN – What seemed to be turning into a surprisingly easy victory for TTU, soon became a nail-biter, as one of the top teams in Group A, Jekabpils, made a late comeback just to be denied in the final seconds. The Estonians improved to a 4-5 record with the 86-82 win.
Jekabpils were always the favorites for this game and were the ones taking an early lead. Not even halfway through the quarter, the Latvians held a double-digit, 12-2, advantage. The hosts did recover from the terrible start to the game with a 13-4 run of their own but still faced a deficit after ten minutes.
It all turned around at the start of the second quarter, as TTU got off to a 14-2 run, taking the six point lead to the halftime break. The margin just grew after the break, as the hosts got it up to 14 with a tremendous defensive effort.
The game seemed to already have been taken care of, as there was still 15 points between the two sides with just three minutes in the final quarter. TTU seemed to be shut down for the final couple of minutes, as Jekabpils‘ defense didn‘t let anything get past them.
However, TTU managed to convert on their free throws and kept a slight margin. The Latvians managed to get as close as two points with 9 seconds on the clock and were hoping for missed free-throws, but Joonas Jarvelainen made sure to make them both and put the game out of reach.
JURMALA – It was a rollercoaster of a game in the Latvian seaside city of Jurmala, as AVIS Rapla managed to take down local Jurmala/Fenikss and secured a 64-58 victory to help their cause in Group A.
The win allows Rapla to improve to a 6-2 record, while Jurmala dropped down to 4-5.
You could tell by how the first quarter started off that this was going to be an intense battle. The two sides traded point for point, but Rapla managed to close out the first period stronger and got a head in front, leading by five after ten minutes.
It all flipped around in the second quarter, as the visitors were kept scoreless for six minutes and a 12-0 run put Jurmala/Fenikss up by six at halftime.
The hosts reached their biggest lead of the game, nine points in the third quarter with a pair of three-pointers, but AVIS Rapla responded with an 8-0 run to bring the game back to just a single-point margin.
For the lion’s share of the final fourth, it was a very close game, and with just three minutes on the clock, Jurmala/Fenikss were down by one point. However, a couple great possessions allowed Rapla to jump ahead by six. While Viktors Iljins managed to bring it down to four with a tap-in, the hosts couldn’t get it to fall in crunch time.
AVIS Rapla enforced their win with a couple of free throws and took an important win.
AVIS Rapla were led by Thomas van der Mars, who put up another double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Martin Paasoja added 11 points, while Rasham Suarez and Domen Bratoz eneded the game with 10 points apiece. Bratoz also contributed 7 rebounds and 6 assists.
On the other side, Viktors Iljins had a strong game, scoring 14 points and tearing down 12 rebounds. Arturs Duselis chipped in with another 14 points.
VALMiERA – It was an solid win at home for Valmiera/ORDO as they took on Ogre/Kumho Tyre in the Latvian derby, taking the 86-76 victory. This marked Valmiera‘s eighth victory in ten games, while Ogre slipped to a 5-6 record.
Despite turning the ball over 21 times, Valmiera/ORDO had the upper hand throughout the game mostly due to their terrific shooting. The home side shot three-pointers at an impressive 10-of-19 clip. They also controlled the boards and a held a 39-25 advantage in this department.
Valmiera/ORDO jumped ahead right after tip-off, as they scored the opening seven points. The margin hovered around that same mark throughout the whole first half. Nevertheless, the final few minutes of the first quarter were better for Ogre, as they trimmed the deficit to just two, whilst Valmiera closed out the half with a good run to improve their lead to 11.
There wasn’t too much competition in the second half, as they gap between the two sides widened and reached game-high 18 points.
Ogre/Kumho Tyre still managed to get back into single-digit territory with a strong fourth quarter, but it was all too little, too late.
Arturs Berzins was very efficient shooting the ball, as he scored 19 points, going 7-of-9 from the field. He also added 6 rebounds to the totals. Martins Laksa added 15 points, while Damier Pitts had 13 points and 6 boards, yet turned the ball over 7 times. Janis Kaufmanis and Ervins Jonats both contributed 12 points, while the latter also chipped in with 10 boards. Lauris Blaus ended the game with 11 points.
Gints Antrops was the leading scorer for Ogre/Kumho Tyre, as he tallied 15 points. Lauris Mizis and Marcis Vitols added 12 points apiece, while Kristaps Plavnieks chipped in with another 10 points and 10 assists.