We had a lot of exciting basketball in the Triobet BBL this week, including broken all-time records and half-court game-tying buzzer-beaters, but nevertheless, let’s take a look at what’s been going on outside the Baltics. BBL.net presents you the European Competitions Weekly round-up.
Lietkabelis lost five of their six last games in the Regular Season but managed to qualify for the next round nevertheless. The round of Top 16 starts right after the New Year and the Lithuanian club is going to face three tough opponents – Khimki, Ratiopharm and FC Bayern Munich.
VTB United League
It seems that after a decent start, Kalev/Cramo have gone off track a bit. Their recent 63-90 blow-out loss against Avtodor makes it 5 losses in a row and that really doesn’t bode well for the Estonians. Their last matchup of 2016 will be a strong Khimki team, and hopefully the Tallinn side can finally turn their fortunes around.
Basketball Champions League
Anything might still happen in Group C as the fourth and seventh places in the group are separated by just one victory. That is why Ventspils’ win against Rosa Radom was so important this week. The Latvians were down by 8 at halftime but managed to dominate the third quarter and sneaked back home with a comfortable 79-63 victory.
Juventus have bounced back from two consecutive losses in Group D with a solid 10-point win against Belgian club Telenet Oostende. The Lithuanians got off to a strong start and built their lead up throughout the game to take the 81-71 home victory. They now stand at a 6-3 record and are firmly amongst the four best teams in the group. Their next opponent will be Tenerife, who are now the lone leaders of the group with 7 wins in 9 games.
FIBA Europe Cup
TU/Rock, TLU/Kalev and Siauliai have already finished their European campaigns with zero victories, but Prienu-Birstono Vytautas is still going strong. They are the highest scoring, rebounding and assisting team in the league and they continue proving that in the Second Round of the FIBA Europe Cup. The Lithuanians were dominant in the first half of their game against the Redwell Gunners, going up by 19 after the first quarter, and 30 after two. Despite letting up a bit in the second half, they rose victorious with a 91-72 victory.
It doesn‘t get better than what we saw on Tuesday evening, when Jurmala/Fenikss faced off against Liepaja/Triobet – an overtime thriller that included a game-tying buzzer-beater from half court. Edgars Jeromanovs‘ historical performance was the cherry on top, as he wins the Weekly MVP award by a landslide.
It doesn‘t get much better than what we saw on Tuesday evening, when Jurmala/Fenikss faced off against Liepaja/Triobet – an overtime thriller that included a game-tying buzzer-beater from half court. Edgars Jeromanovs‘ historical performance was the cherry on top of the cake, as he wins the Weekly MVP award by a landslide.
The 30-year-old was simply unbelievable and seemed to have unlimited range, as he knocked down shot after shot after shot from downtown, making an incredible 10-of-12 from long range. That helped him destroy the season record for highest scoring performance by eight points and set it at 39.
The scary thing about Edgars Jeromanovs’ performance was that it wasn’t just his scoring that was on point, as he also tallied 9 rebounds, dished out 8 assists and swiped the ball away twice. This amounted for an efficiency rating of 51 – that is the best result in league history, as far as our statistics department lets us know.
It was a historic performance and we didn’t even mention the fact that the Latvian needed merely 17 field goal and 6 free throw attempts to reach the season scoring record, as he made 2-of-5 shots from two-point range, 10-of-12 three-pointers and 5-of-6 free throws.
10 three-pointers made is also an all-time BBL record, whereas his 12 attempts wouldn't even make it into the Top 30.
A truly remarkable performance that gave Jurmala/Fenikss their third victory in spectacular fashion.
PARNU – Barsy have been looking to capture their first win for a while now, and although they did get close to doing just that, they‘ll have to wait just a while longer. In the only game of the night the Kazakhs fell after a hard-fought battle against Port of Parnu, 73-78.
It took a while for both teams to get into rhythm, as they started off shooting really poorly. Both teams fixed that in the second part of the first period and went neck-to-neck, with Parnu making the final shot of the quarter to pull up by three.
Parnu managed to gain some grounds in the second quarter, as their lead improved to 10 with five minutes remaining in the half. However, the second part of the period belonged to Barsy, as they rushed off to a 15-0 run to end the quarter and go up by 2, 35-40.
It was a very close affair after halftime as well, and neither side could really take a position of control. While it was mostly Port of Parnu up in the quarter, the margin between the two teams was just two points before the final fourth.
The home side managed to push up ahead in the beginning of the fourth quarter, as they held a six point lead, but, obviously, having invested so much into the game, the Kazakhs were not about to let up. They battled back and the fate of the game was decided in the final minutes.
With a minute remaining, it was just two points between the clubs, as Vaidotas Volkus took a stand at the free-throw line to extend Parnu‘s lead to four. The teams traded bad possessions, and time wasn‘t on the visitors‘ side. Parnu extended their lead with free-throws and captured their second victory.
Edvinas Seskus had a terrific game, scoring 19 points on 8-of-12 shooting. Fellow countryman Vaidotas Volkus added 17 points to the tally, as Norman Kabin chipped in with 14. Saimon Sutt ended the game with 13, while Reinar Hallik finished with 10 points despite attempting 11 three-pointers.
Trevin Parks was the top scorer for Barsy, as he scored 20 points. Mikhail Yevstigneev was solid with 17 points to his name, while Anthony Johnson tallied 14. Pavel Ilin finished the game with 9 points and 8 rebounds.
RAKVERE – Valmiera/ORDO didn’t have to sweat too hard to bang home their sixth win and stay amongst the group leaders. Tarvas/Palmse Metall just didn’t have enough fight in them and fell way short 105-74.
It didn't take too long for the visitors to get going, as Valmiera/ORDO had already amassed a 12-point margin just five minutes into the game. The double-digit margin stuck with them for good, as they finished the quarter up 11.
By halftime, the gap had grown to 20 points and it seemed this one was already over. Despite a solid lead, Valmiera did not become complacent and followed a good half with their best quarter.
A 31-13 quarter brought their advantage to a game-high 38 points and at that point there was definitely no coming back for Tarvas.
They managed to slightly chip at the lead, but that didn't make much difference in the final outlook.
The Latvians were better in nearly all categories, but what stands out is their terrific shooting percentage – Valmiera/ORDO made 78% of their 2-point field goals. And despite that, still managed to grab as many offensive rebounds as their opponents.
Arturs Berzins and Martins Laksa stood out in the scoring department, as they had 17 points each for Valmiera, while Lauris Blaus added 15. Damier Pitts chipped in with 13, while Janis Kaufmanis ended the game with a dozen points. Rinalds Malmanis and Ervins Jonats contributed 11 points with 7 rebounds, and 10 points with 8 rebounds, respectively.
Timo Eichfuss was the highest scorer on the other side, as he tallied 18 before fouling out. Siim Markus Post was solid with 16 points, 5 rebounds and 6 assists.
RIGA – Barons kvartals made it three in a row and improved to an overall record of 6-2 with their latest win against Nevezis. The Kedainiai side was a tough competitor for three quarters, but Barons took control in the final fourth and took home the 77-68 victory.
Nevezis shot ahead in the first ten minutes, as they played a near-perfect quarter. Everything seemed to be falling and the Lithuanians managed to reach a 14-point advantage.
Despite a horrible start, Barons didn't give up and came firing back in the second period. A good run helped them wipe out nearly the whole deficit and it was just five points between the two clubs at halftime.
Barons kvartals' comeback was real, and they made sure they were back in contention before crunch time, now down by just a single point.
That is when Nevezis started breaking down, and the Latvians finally shot ahead. They won the final quarter by 10 and achieved quite a comfortable victory.
Throughout the whole game the Latvians turned the ball over just five times, while Nevezis were sloppy and gave the ball away 22 times.
Davis Geks had a good game scoring the ball, as he put up 19 points, while Tauras Jogela added 14 to the tally. Both Andris Epners and Tyler Larson had 12 points, while the latter also contributed team-best 10 rebounds and 6 assists.
Paulius Petrilevicius had an efficient game, scoring 17 points on 9 field goal attempts, while Karolis Petrukonis added 15 points and 9 rebounds. Ivan Smiljanic chipped in with 12 points and 7 boards. Jermaine Love ended the game with 11 points on perfect shooting, but was also responsible for seven of those turnovers for Nevezis.
JEKABPILS – Another terrific game in the Triobet BBL, as Jekabpils took on Ogre/Kumho Tyre. The game went down to the wire, but it was ultimately the home side Jekabpils prevailing with a 76-71 victory.
An exciting game in Latvia start to finish, as the teams went at it from the get-go, trading the lead 6 times in the first quarter alone. Ogre did get the buzzer-beating three to fall and extended their lead to four points.
The visitors used the momentum to build on that lead in the second quarter, as minutes later it was already nine points between the two sides, 19-28. However, a 12-2 run put things back in order and it was now just a two point deficit for Jekabpils at halftime.
It was still anybody’s game but Ogre/Kumho Tyre did all they could to retain a lead: it was a basket or two separating the two Latvian clubs throughout the third period.
Jekabpils managed to turn things around in the final quarter though, as they quietly jumped ahead and started building their lead point by point. Ogre wasted numerous possessions and that allowed the home team to go up by 7.
Ogre/Kumho Tyre made one last attempt to extend the game and came really close, but Jekabpils put it away with solid shooting from the free-throw line.
Roberts Stumbris was the top performer for Jekabpils, as he tallied 22 points and 8 rebounds, while Jurijs Aleksejevs crashed the offensive glass and tore down 9 offensive rebounds (11 total) and added 15 points. Kristaps Miglinieks contributed 11 points.
Janis Poznaks was solid for Ogre, as he tallied 17 points. Both Gints Antrops and Kristaps Plavnieks added 10 points apiece.
LIEPAJA – In a game perfect for the highlight reels, it was Jurmala/Fenikss going out on top in the 103-97 OT drama against Liepaja/Triobet. The victors improved to a 3-5 record, while Liepaja dropped to 4-4.
It was a neck-to-neck affair throughout the whole game, but the teams took it to a whole new level in the final fourth. After ten minutes the score was all tied up at 21 and neither side had any breathing room.
Liepaja/Triobet managed to tally a game-high seven point lead at the start of the second quarter, but as you might expect, that didn't stand long. Jurmala/Fenikss quickly responded and we were back in a nip-and-tuck environment.
There wasn't too much changes in content in the second half, as the two sides kept on changing leads time after time again, for a total of 17 lead changes throughout the game.
The final minutes of regulation were as stressful as they come, and that resulted in numerous turnovers. With the stakes high and two minutes on the clock, Ugis Pinete made two consecutive turnovers for Jurmala/Fenikss and that gave Liepaja the chance to pull ahead by three. Nevertheless, just five seconds later, the visitors responded with a three-pointer to tie the game up.
After retaking possession, Jurmala/Fenikss had the chance to take the lead, but another turnover resulted in a wasted opportunity. Nerves were crunching both sides though, as Davis Rozitis missed both free-throw to keep the score level.
And then some miraculous stuff happened, as Edgars Jeromanovs knocked down a fade-away three-pointer to go up by three. Before Jurmala could start celebrating, Lateef Mcmullan responded with a half-court buzzer-beater (video below).
The first part of overtime was just as close, as it was just a point between the two teams, but several turnovers by Liepaja/Triobet closed the case and Jurmala/Fenikss celebrated an incredible victory.
We witnessed a spectacular all-around performance from Edgars Jeromanovs, who was simply on top of his game yesterday, scoring 39 points (10/12 three-pointers), tore down 9 rebounds and added 8 assists. Incredible stuff!
RAPLA – AVIS Rapla will have multiple reasons to celebrate the end of the year, and tonight’s 87-60 win against Barsy Atyrau added to that list, as the Estonian club made history, not losing a single home game in all competitions before the New Year.
The Estonians have won all four home games in the Triobet BBL, five games in the Estonian Alexela Basketball League and have also been victorious in an Estonian Cup game. Their home fortress remains untouched with a 10-0 home record. The last time something similar happened was when current AVIS Rapla head coach Aivar Kuusmaa was still playing for Tallinn A. Le Coq, nearly 15 years ago.
With the home fans backing them, Rapla managed to get off to a good start and amassed a 9-point lead right out of the gates, 11-2. The margin quickly expanded and reached 16 before the first quarter even ended.
The second quarter didn't start off as swiftly as the Estonians might have hoped, as they opened their scoring nearly three minutes into the game. Barsy, on the other hand, used the stagnation in AVIS Rapla's game to get a bit closer with an 11-2 run that cut the deficit to just 7.
Nevertheless, the home side managed to regain control of the lead and 19 points separated the two teams at halftime.
We didn't see too many changes in the second half and Rapla celebrated a comfortable lead.
It’s Sunday once again, and that means it’s time to look back at what’s happened throughout the week in the Triobet Baltic Basketball League. BBL.net presents you the ninth volume of the Triobet BBL Weekly Review.
MVP. It’s a Pieno Zvaigzdes’ player going for the Weekly MVP award for the second week in a row, as Ignas Fiodorovas claims the award this time. The 20-year-old is normally just a role player for the Pasvalys side, but he put up impressive numbers in the team’s record win against Borisfen, tallying 18 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists and 6 steals.
STOCKTON? We might have a version of a certain John Stockton playing in the Triobet BBL, as Toni Prostran was dishing out assists to whoever wanted them and set a new Triobet BBL record with 17 assists to his name. To take matters into perspective, more than half of the teams didn’t reach 17 assists as a whole this week.
RECORDS GALORE. What a night Tuesday was for Pieno Zvaigzdes, as they got nearly everything to fall against Borisfen. They set a new record for scoring in regulation with 111 points, a new record for most assists at 40, a new record for overall efficiency at 172, and got the biggest winning margin as well, defeating the Belorussians by 60 points. All this was made possible by the video game-like shooting, as the Lithuanians made 34-of-41 (83%) of their 2-point shots. Yes, that is a new record as well.
UNINSPIRING. Borisfen, on the other hand, have been making all the wrong moves in all the wrong places, as they currently sit at the bottom of the league with no wins and nine losses by an average margin of 35.6 points. Their latest achievement would be breaking their own record for least points scored in a game, as they managed to put up just 45 against Ogre/Kumho Tyre, a point shy from their previous mark.
OPENING. Barsy Atyrau have finally played their first (and second) game of the season, but it really didn’t go down as well as they might have hoped it would. They crashed and burned in the second half of the game against Nevezis, losing by 34 in their season opener, and lost by 14 against Liepaja/Triobet a couple days later.
STANDINGS. More than halfway into the regular season, there’s still nothing guaranteed for any of the teams, but the current trends are apparent. In Group A, the trio of AVIS Rapla, Nevezis and Barons kvartals are looking good with 5-2 records and Liepaja/Triobet breathing down their backs. Group B is more spread out – Pieno Zvaigzdes reign with a 7-1 record, followed by Jekabpils (6-2) and Valmiera/ORDO (5-2). Ogre/Kumho Tyre are right behind them with a 5-3 record, looking to make a run towards the top.
For the second week in a row, it‘s a Pieno Zvaigzdes‘ player raking in the Weekly MVP honors, as it was Ignas Fiodorovas with an exceptional performance this time around. He was nearly perfect in the 23 minutes of basketball he played and was deservedly named the Player of the Week.
The 20-year-old shot the ball with confidence and made 6-of-7 field goals and all 5 free throws, amassing a total of 18 points. Fiodorovas also filled the stat sheet in other departments, as he tore down 6 rebounds, dished out 6 assists and recorded 6 steals, tying for the best result this season in that category.
The guard managed a total of 33 ranking points, as he saw his team dominate Borisfen and set a record for biggest winning margin of the season, 111-51.
This was a stand-out game for Ignas Fiodorovas, as he’s been no more than a role player for the Lithuanian side. At the moment he’s averaging 7.3 points, 2 rebounds and 1.5 assists, while two of his best games were blow-out wins against Borisfen.