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.
As we ride out the final hours of 2016, let‘s take a look back at what the final week of Triobet BBL basketball had in store for us. It has been a great year overall, so let’s round it out with the final Triobet BBL Weekly Review.
MVP. It comes as no surprise that Jeromanovs’ historic night brought him the December MVP trophy. It was one-man dominance against Liepaja/Triobet, as he put up 39 points, 9 rebounds and 8 assists to lead his team to an OT win. He was solid in two other games and averaged 23.3 points, 4.3 rebounds and 6.3 assists throughout the month.
WEEKLY MVP. Karolis Petrukonis has been putting up terrific numbers in limited minutes this season, so it was quite logical he’d deliver when called upon. For the first time this season, he played more than 25 minutes and was an unstoppable force down low, scoring 25 points and tearing down 9 rebounds to become the Player of the Week.
IMPACT. It was possibly a career night for Vaidotas Volkus, but even that wasn’t enough for Parnu to take home a victory. The Lithuanian tallied 36 points, 9 rebounds and 4 assists and finished the game with an efficiency rating of 40.
ZERO. That’s how many wins Barsy finish the year with. After getting drowned in a three-pointer hail against Jurmala/Fenikss, they suffered a tough defeat after a very close fight against Barons kvartals. They finished the year with a 0-6 record and are dead-last in Group A.
REVENGE. Three-pointers were key for Pieno Zvaigzdes, as they took revenge against Ogre/Kumho Tyre for their only loss of the year. The Lithuanians made 14-of-21 shots from behind the arc and that propelled them to a 102-91 win, pushing their record to 8-1.
As the Christmas season comes to an end, let‘s take a look back at what happened in other European competitions last week. Four Triobet BBL clubs had a contest to participate in this edition of the European Competitions weekly round-up.
The round of Top 16 in the 7Days EuroCup starts right after the New Year and the Lithuanian club is bound to face three dangerous opponents – Khimki, Ratiopharm and FC Bayern Munich.
VTB United League
Kalev/Cramo seem to have run out of luck recently, as they were forced to their sixth consecutive defeat last week. It was a close game this time around, as the Estonians were down by just one with three minutes remaining, but eventually lost it and took a 77-84 beating against Khimki.
Basketball Champions League
Ventspils have shown strength and taken another victory, defeating Group C rivals Muratbey Usak Sportif at home. It was a close affair for the first half, as the hosts led by just three points, but they shot ahead after the break, going on to win 97-86.
As for the other team in the tournament, it wasn’t a game Juventus wanted to have before Christmas.Their visit to Tenerife ended in a humiliating defeat, as the Lithuanians were overpowered in most categories and had to face a disappointing 57-79 result. They currently sit in fourth place in Group D, despite having lost three of their four last games.
FIBA Europe Cup
Prienu-Birstono Vytautas is the last team to remain standing in the FIBA Europe Cup. And they are standing strong. Another victory for the Lithuanian side, as they bounced back from a disappointing first half to rake in the 75-69 win against Greek club APOEL. They still haven’t lost a game in the second round of the tournament.
As we get into the swing of Christmas, Santa’s brought one particular Jurmala/Fenikss player a small present. Edgars Jeromanovs has been named the Triobet BBL Player of the Month for December, as his stocks rose high mostly due to a historical performance a couple weeks ago.
The Latvian averaged 23.3 points, 4.3 rebounds and 6.3 assists this month and helped Jurmala/Fenikss secure two victories in three attempts. The guard shot at an incredible clip from downtown, as he nailed 16-of-25 (64 percent) shots from beyond the arc. All that had him at an average efficiency rating of 26.
Jeromanovs’ best game by far was the incredible overtime clash against Liepaja/Triobet, where he put up phenomenal numbers, breaking a couple records along the way. Edgars scored 39 points (season record), while hitting 10-of-12 from three-point range (season record), and also came close to a triple-double with 9 rebounds and 8 assists along the scoring outburst. That amounted for a total efficiency rating of 51 (all-time record).
He followed that game up with another terrific shooting night, as he made five three-pointers for a total of 18 points and added 7 assists.
That was quite an improvement for him over the last four games of November, as he only averaged 7.5 points, 2.5 rebounds, 5.5 assists and an efficiency rating of 5.8.
The award for Player of the Month will be presented to Jeromanovs right after the New Year.
We saw a terrific performance from Karolis Petrukonis in his team‘s latest victory, as he put up big numbers to lead Nevezis‘ way past Port of Parnu. He had the best performance on a winning team and therefore is named our newest Player of the Week!
The big man played a vital role in securing the victory, as he dominated the block to score 25 points, shooting 10-of-13 from the field. He also corralled 9 rebounds and with a performance like that, booked an efficiency rating of 32.
It was Petrukonis’ highest-scoring game, as he’s averaged just under 12 points in 9 games this season. Th Lithuanian has scored in bunches all season long, as he’s been putting up 11.7 points and 6.1 rebounds in just 18 minutes of basketball each game.
Nevezis, as a team, have now won 6 of their 9 games and are amongst the leaders in Group A.
In the very same game, another Lithuanian had a big night, but was on the losing end. Vaidotas Volkus had a career night, scoring 36 points and tearing down 9 rebounds, yet it was not enough for Parnu.
JEKABPILS - It was a good way to end their 2016 Triobet BBL year for Valmiera/ORDO, as they dominated against Jekabpils and took a big 77-55 away win. The victory helps them improve to a great 7-2 record.
As you would expect, the game started off with both sides trading punch for punch. Neither side managed to gain any ground in the first ten minutes, but that didn't stand long.
Right as the second quarter started, Valmiera/ORDO ran off ahead. They managed to amass a small lead before halftime and kept on building on it after the break.
It was all Valmiera in the third quarter, as they won the quarter by 15. Their lead rose to a game-high 28 points and it was all over at that point.
The final quarter didn't matter much, as it seemed all settled. It was a comfortable victory for the visitors, as Jekabpils suffered their third loss in ten games.
KEDAINIAI - Vaidotas Volkus had possibly the best game of his career, but it wasn't enough for Port of Parnu to overcome Nevezis, as they suffered a 73-96 away loss. This makes it Parnu's 7th loss in nine games.
The Lithuanians shot ahead in the latter part of the second quarter after a relatively quiet first. Nevezis managed to push the margin to double digits right before the break and kept on building from there on.
In the third period, the margin grew to 17 before being cut back slightly. However, it was still a big deficit on the hands of Parnu, and they had to react quickly if they had any hopes of finishing the year with a win.
Those hopes were short-lived, though, as Nevezis knocked the visitors out with a terrific run in the final fourth. They finished the game high on a 14-4 run to push the margin to game-high 23 points.
Karolis Petrukonis had a solid game in the block, scoring 25 points and adding 9 rebounds for Nevezis. Paulius Petrilevicius added 14 points in just 16 minutes against his former team, while Ignas Vaitkus chipped in with 12.
Vaidotas Volkus had an incredible individual performance, as he tallied 36 points, 9 rebounds and 4 assists, which combined for an efficiency rating of 40. He was the only player to reach double-digit scoring for Port of Parnu.
RIGA - Barsy Atyrau seem to be getting closer and closer to securing their first win, as they were just a couple shots away from a victory against Barons kvartals. However, the Latvians managed to perform in crunch time and achieved a 101-94 win.
The way the first quarter played out wasn't a good sign for the visitors, as they were immediately left in the dust of Barons. The Latvians rose to a 12 point advantage and the game seemed to be turning into a blow-out.
However, Barsy fought back and halfway through the second quarter, were already back on level terms. Barons kvartals did finish the quarter on a higher note though, going up by 7 at the break.
Things got even tighter in the second half, as Barsy took their first lead of the game, 53-52. The two teams went back and forth for most of the second half, but a couple mistakes by the visitors allowed Barons to finish out the game strong, as they were better in the 5 final minutes.
Davis Geks led the Latvian squad in scoring, as he dropped 23 points. Davis Zonne added 20 to the tally, while Denis Krestinin chipped in with a double-double of 18 points and 10 rebounds. Kristaps Mediss had 11 points, while both Roberts Freimanis and Tyler Larson finished with 10.
For Barsy, it was the usual suspect, Trevin Parks, leading the way, as he scored game-high 28 points. Pavel Micheev also had a great game, as he had 23 points on just 12 shots, while Pavel Ilin was responsible for 20 points.