On arguably the best team in the league at the moment, Martins Laksa has been doing incredible things throughout the first month of Triobet BBL basketball. The forward has proved to be a huge piece of Valmiera’s game on both sides of the court and has thus earned the Player of the Month honors for the month of October.
His efficient play led the Latvian champions to two victories in as many attempts, as Laksa himself averaged 22 points and 5.5 rebounds. What impresses most is his accuracy attacking the basket – the swingman has made 75 percent (9/12) of his two-point attempts and 72.7 percent (8/11) long-range attempts.
Laksa’s best game came against Tarvas, as Valmiera/ORDO blew their opponents out of the water, taking an 85-52 victory. He scored 23 points, tore down 8 rebounds and dished out 3 assists, amassing 31 ranking points.
The Player of the Month award will be handed to Martins before his team takes on Pieno Zvaigzdes on the 8th of November.
Meanwhile, Valmiera will be hoping his successful play carries on into November, as they take on Jekabpils tonight. Both teams have showed to be contenders so far and it should be one of the most interesting matchups of the regular season.
While you shouldn’t single out individuals in a great team performance, it would have been much harder for the Ogre/Kumho Tyre to bounce back from a losing start with two victories without Karlis Apsitis’ terrific play. That is why we have him as our Triobet BBL Player of the Week this time around.
In the win 77:59 victory against Borisfen, the 24-year-old forward scored 21 points on near-perfect shooting (9/10 FG), added 6 rebounds and dished out 3 assists to secure an efficiency rating of 28.
Karlis has been amazing for quite a while now, as he’s averaged 18 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals per game in the three matches that he’s played in.
Right behind him in second place was Lithuanian big Denis Krestinin, as he put up another strong effort in a winning performance. The Barons kvartals big man scored just 10 points but was at it in every aspect of the game. He tore down 9 rebounds to nearly reach a double-double and was a pest on defense swiping away the ball 5 times.
TTU’s Joonas Jarvelainen comes in at a close third with a great showcase against Estonian foes Tarvas. The forward scored 21 points, added 9 rebounds and ended the game with 23 rating points.
Add six more games under the belt in the new Triobet BBL season, as we reach yet another Sunday. BBL.net presents the highlights of this week in the third volume of the Triobet BBL Weekly Review.
MVP. After a losing start to the season, Ogre/Kumho Tyre‘s fortunes have taken a swing, as they secured their last two victories. This week not only did they tab another win, but Karlis Apsitis also got an individual award, grabbing the weekly MVP honors. The forward scored 21 points on near-perfect shooting and added 6 rebounds to secure an efficiency rating of 28.
HOT. When it comes to looking for a definition of a hot hand, look no further than the whole Barons kvartals team in their victory over Nevezis. The Latvians shot at a spectacular 67 percent clip from behind the arc, nailing 14-of-21 attempts. Krsitaps Mediss led the team in that department, knocking down 5 of his 7 shots and scoring 22 points in just 19 minutes of basketball off the bench.
ONE. One free-throw. That‘s all the forementioned Borisfen managed to come through with in their last game against Jekabpils. Maksim Kozlovets made one of his six free-throw shots and had the highest percentage in the whole team with 17 percent.
DEBUT. Not a debut week they had hoped for for Borisfen, for sure. The Triobet BBL newcomers lost all three of their games by an average margin of 32 points and dropped to the very bottom of Group B alongside Tarvas, who also hold a 0-3 record.
BLOWOUT. Borisfen making the headlines, again. Jekabpils win against the Belorussians marked the biggest winning (losing) margin in this season‘s record book. It was also the highest scoring performance in the league. By the way, Borisfen also set the record for least points scored in a single quarter in another game, but that‘s a different story.
Three more games await on Tuesday and Wednesday each, as we‘ve got some truly exciting matchups on the schedule. Stay tuned.
JEKABPILS - It was apparent Jekabpils was not looking to take any prisoners when they faced Borisfen, taking a huge 104-60 victory in the only game of Saturday evening.
Just like in their first two games, Borisfen managed to stay competitive in the first ten minutes of the game, yet they seemed like a totally different team once the second quarter started.
Jekabpils came out firing and soon got a double-digit advantage going. It all escalated quickly after the halftime break though, as a 23-0 run led Jekabpils ahead to an inappropriate lead.
It's safe to say, the game was taken care of at that point and Jekapbils coasted to glorious victory.
Rinalds Sirsnins led the victors with 19 points in his account, while Oskars Virsis added 16 to the tally. Arturs Vitins and Jurijs Aleksejevs scored 12 points and added 9 and 8 rebounds respectively.
On the other side, only Vytautas Kamarunas and Maksim Kozlovets reached double digit scoring, as they were responsible for 15 and 11 points, respectively.
Eight teams are currently participating in other European competitions and will join the Triobet BBL starting Play-offs.
To keep you up-to-date, BBL.net brings you the latest international updates in a weekly round-up.
Possibly the best game of the week took place in Panevezys, where Lietkabelis matched up againt Russian side Nizhny Novgorod. It was a back and forth affair, but Petr Gubanov nailed a three-pointer with 0.6 seconds to go to lead the Russians to their first victory 72-75. Lietkabelis now holds a 2-1 record in the 7DAYS EuroCup Regular Season.
VTB United League
Kalev/Cramo is the sole Triobet BBL team to participate in the VTB United League and they haven‘t had too much luck in the past couple of weeks. Their last outing resulted in their second loss in three games, as they fell slightly short of Tsmoki-Minsk, losing 81-88.
Basketball Champions League
Juventus secured their second victory in as many tries with a strong performance in Oostende, Belgium. They too care of local Telenet Oostende quite easily, after setting themselves up with a 10-point lead after the first quarter. They managed to build it up to 16 before the fourth, ensuring a calm ending to the game. After the 69-59 win, Juventus shares the top of Group D with two other teams with 2 wins.
Second time was the charm for Ventspils, as they faced Rosa Radom in the second week of the Basketball Champions League. While the Latvians got off to a slow start, they left their opponents in the dust in the second quarter and never looked back, grabbing a dominating 74-53 victory. Andrejs Grazulis was responsible for a number of highlight plays to help seal the deal, including an incredible chase-down block and a powerful put-back dunk.
FIBA Europe Cup
TU/Rock continue to struggle in the FIBA Europe Cup, as they showed a spineless performance in France against Pau-Lacq-Orthez. They went down 18 in the first quarter and never seemed to get the game going, ultimately losing 56-77 to drop to 0-2.
While Siauliai finally got their first victory in the Lithuanian Basketball League, that didn‘t translate into anything in international waters, as they suffered their second defeat in Group J. The Lithuanians, playing at home, couldn‘t hold back Apoel and lost 75-84.
Vytautas was the only bright spot for Baltic basketball in the tournament this week, as their dominant and high-scoring first half led them past Romanian club BC Mures. With a home crowd behing them, the Lithuanians dominated the first twenty minutes, scoring 61 points and jumping out to an astonishing 35 point lead. The game was already over at that point, but the home side added a couple more points to their lead and celebrated a 99-61 victory.
OGRE – Spurred by an excellent Karlis Apsitis performance, Ogre/Kumho Tyre rolled all over Borisfen, registering a 77-59 victory in Group B of the Triobet BBL on Thursday evening.
The 24-year-old Apsitis finished the game with 21 points and six rebounds, as the Latvian club improved to a 2-1 record in the standings, while the team from Belarus dropped to 0-2.
After winning the opening quarter 19-10, Ogre did not take their foot off the gas pedal and increased the gap between the teams to 39-18 at the halftime break, leaving Borisfen a steep hill to climb.
The second half didn’t change much in the course of the game. With the game already in the bag for Ogre, the visitors did marginally win the fourth quarter, but it was too little too late.
The Latvians did quite a lot of damage in transition, outscoring their Belarusian opponents 20-7 in points turnovers, despite comparable numbers in the turnover category for both sides
In addition to an excellent game by Apsitis, his teammates Gints Antrops and Guntis Sipolins added 15 points apiece, with the latter also grabbing nine boards.
Meanwhile, Lithuanian guard Vytautas Kamarunas set the pace for the visitors with 14 points on subpar 5-of-17 shooting, while Yaugeni Suhaniaka added 13 points and 6 boards.
RAKVERE – TTU got their first victory in three tries, as they managed to defeat Tarvas in hostile territory, 74-62. Tarvas now dropped to a 0-3 record and are one of a few teams still without a win.
TTU got hot early and jumped to a double-digit lead just ten minutes into the game. Tarvas regained some ground in the second quarter though, as they managed to cut the deficit in half, as the scoreboard showed 30-35 in favor of the visitors.
Nevertheless, TTU once again came out stronger after a break. They pushed the margin back to double-digits and looked fully in control.
Tarvas made a couple attempts to get back at them, but ultimately were rebuffed and TTU celebrated a 12-point victory.
KEDAINIAI – Barons kvartals got off to a good start, bashing past their opponents in the first half of the game and then coasted to a 95-84 victory against Nevezis on Wednesday night.
Barons kvartals had no trouble finding good looks from downtown throughout the game, as they buried 6 three-pointers in the first quarter alone. That helped them amass a 20-10 lead after ten minutes.
They added another four three-pointers in the second quarter, as their aggressive play on both ends of the court pushed their lead to 21 at halftime.
The margin reached 28 midway through the third period and it seemed all said and done at that point. Nevertheless, Nevezis put up a series of successful plays and carved down the lead. It was never going to be a close game, but the Lithuanians at least made the score bearable.
Barons kvartals made three pointers at an incredible 14-of-21 three-pointers and that opened up the way for easier paths to the basket.
LIEPAJA – Liepaja/Triobet bounced back from a rough start and came back to dominate AVIS Rapla in their second victory in three games. The Latvians jumped ahead in the second quarter and never looked back, taking the 78-54 win in the second game of Tuesday evening.
Rapla started the game off well, jumping to an early lead and a 7-point advantage after the opening quarter. The second quarter, however, was a complete opposite, as Liepaja/Triobet easily dwindled down the lead and soon jumped ahead.
The MVP of the first week Tomas van der Mars was lighting it up in the first half for Rapla though, as he tallied 16 points and 6 rebounds just in the initial twenty minutes. He was the main reason his team still stayed competitive after a horrendous second quarter.
Liepaja continued their successful run in the second half, as they built up to a double-digit advantage. Rapla made attempts at a comeback, but they were quickly rebuffed by the Latvians.
By the time the fourth quarter started, it was already a 20-point advantage and Liepaja/Triobet was more than in control. They took care of their lead and finished the game with a solid lead.
Lateef Mcmullan showed up once again for Liepaja, as he scored 21 points, dished out 8 assists and added 4 rebounds to the tally. Roberts Krastins added 15 points, while Devonta Pollard chipped in with 11.
On the other side, it was Tomas van der Mars leading the way. After an outstanding first half, he was closed down in the second and ended the game with 24 points and 10 rebounds. Domen Bratoz was the only other player with double-digit scoring, as he contributed 10 points.
PASVALYS - It was certainly a night to forget for Borisfen on their Triobet BBL debut. The Belarusian newcomers had a nightmare of an evening and were absolutely destroyed in Pasvalys, as Pieno Zvaigzdes came out on top with this season‘s biggest win, 102-68.
While Borisfen started the game pretty well, and kept their heads above the water with a two point lead after the first quarter.
The second and third quarters were a totally different matter though, as Pieno Zvaigzdes rose to a 20-point lead in the second quarter alone and pushed the margin to the mid thirties.
Borisfen‘s defense was non-existant throughout the game and Pieno Zvaigzdes reached the 100-point mark quite early in the fourth quarter. Obviously, the final minutes were merely a formality and the Lithuanian side achieved a wonderful victory to push their record to 2-0.
Seven players reached double-digit scoring for the Pasvalys side, as Ignas Fiodorovas was the leading scorer with 13 points. Justas Tamulis, Vilmantas Dilys and Karolis Babkauskas all chipped in with 12 points apiece, while Steponas Babrauskas, Dennis Balentine and Egidijus Dimsa added 11 points each.
On the other side, Maksim Kozlovets did most of the hard work, as he led the game with 27 points in his account. Yauheni Ivanou added 12, while Vytautas Kamarunas chipped in with 11