JURMALA - With a backing of a great crowd, Jurmala managed to book the final ticket to the Semifinals by defeating Kalev/TLU 77-68.
Jurmala entered the game with a safe, eight point advantage and established an insurmountable lead right before the break, adding another 13 points to their margin. They closed out the game strong and now await Tartu University in the next round.
Ervins Jonats was a force to be reckoned with, as he dropped 18 points and added 12 rebounds. Edgars Jeromanovs chipped in with 15 points. Kristaps Plavnieks had 9.
Bamba Fall and Kayel Locke were the highest scorers for the Estonian side with Fall leading the scoring ranks with 17. Locke added 15, while Kristo Saage finished up with 9.
SIAULIAI - It was quite an intense affair, but Siauliai managed to come out on top with a victory, defeating Ogre 97-87.
The outcome of the series was up for debate for nearly the whole forty minutes, as the Lithuanians had won the first match by just three points.
However, having won the final period by 9, 26-17, they left no hope for the visitors from Ogre.
Siauliai had a number of excellent performances from the starting unit, with Arminas Urbutis leading the way with 18 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 blocks. Laurynas Birutis and Donatas Sabeckis were also key instruments to the victory, scoring 16 points apiece. Birutis also added 13 rebounds, while Sabeckis dished out 9 assists. Akeem Wright and Nicholas Zeisloft added 15 and 14 points, respectively.
On the other end, it was Rinalds Sirsnins with the top-scoring performance. He had 17 points and 7 assists. Janis Poznaks added 14 points, while Marcis Vitols and Guntis Sipolins ended up with 13. Gints Antrops ended the night with 11.
PASVALYS - While there was little doubt that Pieno Zvaigzdes would make it through the Quarterfinals stage after a 30-point victory on the road, a lot of people were left surprised that Parnu managed to put up a good fight in the return leg. After a close affair, Parnu ended up victorious winning by 6, 78-84.
Pieno Zvaigzdes had won the first outing 96-66, so there wasn't much to question in this series, but Parnu came out strong and disappointed the Pasvalys home crowd.
Timo Eichfuss and Siim Post were the go-to guys when it came to scoring, as each of them tallied 14 points. Nemanja Milijkovic added 13, while Rannar Raap and Saimon Sutt finished up with 11.
Jahenns Manigat and Ignas Fiodorovas led the Pasvalys side with 14 apiece, while Arturs Ausejs added 10 points to the tally.
TARTU - University of Tartu steamrolled its way past AVIS Utilitas Rapla in the second leg of their Quarterfinals matchup, taking a 76-47 win.
Despite a close game in the first duel between the two clubs, the return leg in Tartu provided no fight whatsoever, as the hosts locked down on defense early on and slowly pushed their lines.
After scoring just five points in the first quarter, Rapla managed to turn things around in the second one, but were ultimately demolished right after the break. Tartu won the third quarter 27-8 and ran off with an insurmountable lead.
Kristjan Kitsing was the leading scorer for Tartu with 20 points and 7 boards to his name. Vytenis Cizauskas added 18 points o the tally, while Janar Talts and Steven Cook finished up with 10 apiece. Cook also had 10 rebounds for a double-double.
Domagoj Bubalo was the only player with a noteworthy eprformance for AVIS Utilitas Rapla, as he dropped 16 points on 6-of-9 shooting. He also added 8 rebounds, 2 steals and 2 blocks for a good all-around performance.
The BBL regular season has already been closed out and only eight teams remain in contention. The league-leaders of the Regular season in points, rebounds and assists will be honored with individual awards.
When it's all said and done, it is the team that scored more points coming out on top. In this case however, just one player's individual skill was not a guarantee for team success. Yauheni Beliankou, Tsmoki-Minsk's 22-year-old swingman led the league in scoring with an average of 18.4 points per game, scoring in double-digits in all-but-one game. Beliankou put up his best performance in the face-off against BBL powerhouse Siauliai, where he dropped 28 points and added 7 rebounds. Nevertheless, Tsmoki finished the season with just one win in 10 games.
Barsy's John Taylor and Rapla's Nolan Cressler came in as runner-ups, averaging 18.1 and 17.3 points per game, respectively.
When it comes to rebounds, there was nobody even near the production that Valmiera/ORDO big man Viktors Iljins put up. The Latvian was clearly the team's best player, as he averaged a double-double with 11.0 rebounds per game and 14.0 points to go along with it. He had some incredible nights in the paint, including a 19-point and 20-rebound performance in the win against Kalev/TLU.
His closest competition was Kalev/TLU's Bambale Osby, who averaged 9.7 rebounds per game in the seven games he geared up for.
Two Lithuanian point guards highlighted the assist rankings with their passing skills, but Siauliai's Donatas Sabeckis stood out as the season's best floor general. Having a big man of Laurynas Birutis caliber helped out his cause, as he led the league with 6.7 assists per game. Sabeckis season-high was 11 assists and he once came just a pass away from a triple-double, as he tallied 14 points, 10 rebounds and 9 assists against Betsafe/Liepaja.
Vytenis Cizauskas of Tartu University came in second, as he would dish out 6.0 assists per game.
With March already rolling in, we’re proud to announce that Jurmala’s Ivars Zvigurs has been named the BBL Player of the Month of February!
The 22-year-old doubled his season averages this past month, putting up 20.0 points and 8.5 rebounds in the two Jurmala victories, leading the league in efficiency with 25 ranking points per game.
Zvigurs has excelled as a great bench option for Jurmala this season, putting up great numbers in very limited minutes. Throughout the regular season, the forward averaged 10.4 points and 3.7 rebounds in just over 15 minutes of game time.
The young Latvian had two similar performances, putting up 20 points and 9 rebounds in the blow-out win against Tsmoki in the last game of the regular season, and followed that up with a 20-point and 8-rebound display in the first leg of the Quarterfinals against Kalev/TLU a couple weeks later.
The award will be handed to him during Jurmala’s next home game, on the 7th of March.
PARNU - Pieno Zvaigzdes decided to take care of business early, as they dominated end-to-end, and went away with a 30-point, 96-66, victory against Port of Parnu.
It was a no-contest from the very earliest of stages, as Pasvalys ran off with a big lead in the first half, piling up a 20-point advantage at the half-way mark. They made sure the second leg would be just a formality with a great showcase in the second half as well.
Osvaldas Olisevicius put up points in bunches, dropping 19 points in 22 minutes. Arturs Ausejs added 16 points, while Tomas Lekunas finished up with 13. Every single player on the roster managed to get their name on the scoresheet.
For their opponents, Nemanja Milijkovic led the scoring ranks with 15 points. Mikhel Kirves added 12, while Rannar Raap chiipped in with 11.
Pasvalys will host the return leg on the 7th of March.
TALLINN - In a high-scoring first Quarterfinal game between Jurmala and Kalev/TLU, the visiting Latvians had more success, as they took off for an 89-81 victory.
The visitors had their heads in front for the whole game, already pulling ahead by double-digits at halftime. The hung onto a tangible lead until the final buzzer and head home with 8 points in their pocket.
Ivars Zvigurs had quite the night, scoring 20 points and coralling another 8 rebounds. Edgars Jeromanovs added 19 points, while Haralds Karlis finished up with 12. Andrejs Selakovs and Denis Krestinin both had great nights under the boards, as the former had 8 points and 12 boards, while the latter pickerd up 8 plus 9.
On the other end, it was Kayel Locke getting hot, as he got to the line a lot to end the night with 21 points. Kristo Saage added 17 points, while Bamba Fall finished up with 13 points and 8 rebounds. Mario Paiste chipped in with 11.
The return game will be played next Wednesday, the 7th of March.
RAPLA - It was quite a struggle for visiting Tartu University, but they ended up with an important six-point victory against AVIS Utilitas Rapla, 73-67 in the pair's first Quarterfinal match-up.
The visitors held a tangible lead for most of the game, enjoying a double-digit lead after three quarters. However, Rapla made the series interesting with a good final quarter.
Janar Talts had an impressive game for the victors, as he collected a neat double-double of 21 points and 10 rebounds. Vytenis Cizauskas added 15 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists, while Kristjan Kitsing and Julius Kazakauskas finished up with 12 and 11 points, respectively.
All of Rapla's scoring came from just six players, as Dominique Hawkins led the way with 15 points, 6 assists and 5 rebounds in his account. Nolan Cressler added 13 points, 6 boards and 5 assists, while Gert Dorbek and Domagoj Bubalo ended up scoring a dozen each. Indrek Kajupank and Devonte Upson had 8 and 7 points, respectively.
The return leg will be played in Tartu on the 6th of March.
OGRE - The BBL Playoffs began with an exciting showcase between two great teams, where Siauliai rose victorious against Ogre, 78-75.
The game was a neck-to-neck battle from end-to-end. While Siauliai had the upper hand in the early stages of the game, Ogre came back firing in the third quarter and tied the game up.
From then on, the two just went back and forth with the lead changing hands time and time again.
The trio of Laurynas Birutis, Nick Zeisloft and Arminas Urbutis ended up with 15 points, with Birutis also adding 17 rebounds to the tally for Siauliai.
Rinalds Sirsnins had an imressive performance with 17 points, 7 rebounds and 8 assists. Janis Poznaks added 17 points and 9 boards, while Gints Antrops ended the game with 16.
The return leg will be played on the 7th of March in Ogre.