European Competitions: Leonavicius rakes in Weekly MVP


A lot of exciting basketball from all over Europe! keeps you up to date with what’s been going on with the eight clubs joining us come Playoffs in the weekly round-up.

7DAYS EuroCup

Lietkabelis successfully returned to EuroCup basketball after a week-long break with a win against MZT Skopje. Led by Gintaras Leonavicius, who came off the bench and was eventually named the weekly MVP with a 31 performance index rating, they managed an 87-80 win in Macedonia.

Basketball Champions League

Ventspils didn’t have the best performance in their road loss against ASVEL, as they crashed and burned in the second half despite being ahead at halftime. The French side ran off in the third quarter and managed to improve the lead in the final quarter as well. Final score: 68-83.

Juventus, on the other hand, achieved a great victory over Group D rivals Cibona. The Lithuanians dominated throughout the game and ended up finishing up by 24, scoring high to reach a 104-82 result. They are one of two teams on top of their group with 4 wins and 1 loss.

FIBA Europe Cup

It was an astonishingly high-scoring affair in Tigru Mures, where Vytautas took on BC Mures. After a hard-fought and fast-paced battle, the home side managed to take the win, defeating the Lithuanians 101-109.

Tartu was once again unsuccessful in Group E, as they were taken care of by Pau Lacq Orthez, 68-89. After a slow start, the Estonian side showed some signs of life after the break, but were ultimately rebuffed and left in the dust in the final ten minutes.

Siauliai faced Greek club APOEL and, this time, they weren't that far away from victory. Still a double-digit loss, but this one at least by a decent deficit, 65-76. Not much time to turn the season around for the Lithuanians, and they are said to be bringing in reinforcements.

TTU keep Borisfen winless


TALLINN – Another loss now makes it five in a row for BBL newcomers Borisfen, as they fell short of TTU and were forced to an 97-60 defeat, making it five losses in a row.

While Borisfen jumped off to a good start, pushing ahead by 8, the first quarter didn’t really bode too well for the Byelorussians. TTU scored 37 points to leave Borisfen in their rear-view mirror.

While the second quarter was much closer, that wasn’t much of a consolation for the visiting side, as they entered the mid-way point down by 19. Even worse, that wasn’t even the end of their misery.

Borisfen didn’t manage to tame the TTU club and the margin expanded even more – after three quarters, they found themselves down by 25.

The fourth quarter proved to be the final piece to TTU’s biggest win this season, as the 25-13 quarter put the game to bed. It was a 97-60 score after 40 minutes of basketball.

Five players were in double-digit scoring for TTU, as Toomas Raadik led the cause with 17. Joonas Jarvelainen added 15, while  Silver Suurorg had 11. Sten Olmre and Ivalo Pajumets both finished the game with 10 points.

Maksim Kozlovets was the highest scorer on the other side, as he scored 12 points and added 12 rebounds to the total. Vytautas Kamarunas added 9, while the trio of Andrii Maysh, Yauheni Ivanou and Maksim Sazonau.

Liepaja/Triobet finish strong, improve to 3-2


LIEPAJA – It was a closer game thab most expected in Liepaja, but the home side Liepaja/Triobet managed to overtake Port of Parnu, finish strong, and secure their third win, 90-76.

The Estonians started the game strong, making a couple three-pointers to take the lead to eight points five minutes into the game. Liepaja managed to cut the deficit to 5 before the quarter ended, but they were still not playing winning basketball.

That all changed in the second quarter, as the Latvian club jumped out to a 14-2 run to open up the quarter. 35 points scored in the quarter helped Liepaja/Triobet jump ahead by seven at halftime.

Port of Parnu managed to get closer in the third quarter and with just ten minutes remaining on the clock, it was still just a four point game. Nevertheless, Liepaja/Triobet got the best of their opponents in the final fourth and finally amassed a tangible lead with some excellent basketball in the final minutes.

Third quarter dominance makes it 4 straight for Ogre


OGRE – What a whirlwind we witnessed in the matchup between Ogre/Kumho Tyre and Pieno Zvaigzdes. Two relatively close quarters, and a quarter of dominance from each side after the break, but it was the Latvians going out on top with an 89-84 win.

The two teams traded basket for basket in the first quarter. While it was first Ogre jumping ahead, a small run put the visiting Lithuanians on top at the end of the first, followed by a good start of the second quarter. Pieno Zvaigzdes had managed to amass an eight point advantage, but Ogre/Kumho Tyre managed to cut the deficit down to four before the break.

It was ALL Ogre in the third period, as they just flew past their opponents, turning the deficit into a 14-point advantage. They seemed on a roll and looked nearly unstoppable at times.

However, they were stopped for a fairly long time once the fourth quarter started. They managed just two points in the first six minutes and the lead shrank to just two.  Once they finally got back to scoring, Osvaldas Olisevicius open-fired, hitting two long-range shots to tie the game for Pieno Zvaigzdes.

Those threes did not go unanswered though, as the Latvians hit back with a couple long-range bombs of their own. The game turned into a free-throw shooting contest in the final minute or so, with time, and the lead, on Ogre’s side. The Latvians stayed calm, and ended up on top.

The home side will celebrate a great performance from Marcis Vitols, who had 19 points to lead the game in scoring. He also added 5 assists and 4 rebounds. Gints Antrops added 15, while Kristaps Plavnieks was good for 12. Guntis Sipolins scored 11, as Rihards Zebergs was strong beneath the boards with 10 points, 8 rebounds and 4 assists.

Osvaldas Olisevicius hit two important three-pointers in crunch time - part of his 15 point performance, but that just wasn’t enough. Derrick Low added 14 points and 6 assists, while Steponas Babrauskas chipped in with 12 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists. Andriy Agafonov and Vilmantas Dilys were responsible for 11 and 10 points, respectively.

Borisfen kept under lock-down in Valmiera


VALMIERA – Lock-down defense was the key for Valmiera/ORDO, as they secured the paint and set a new record for least points allowed, both in quarter, and in a full game in the game against Borisfen. They went on to win 60-46, destroying any hopes of a first victory for Borisfen.

Once again, Borisfen came out of the game strong, and by the end of the first quarter, had already attained a five-point advantage.

However, it all turned sour in the second quarter, as they found just one way to the basket... once. With a minute into the first quarter, they managed a lay-up and then kept silent for the rest of the quarter, all whilst allowing Valmiera/ORDO to score 16, and turn the deficit into a nine point lead.

The third quarter didn't do much to lift the mood in Borisfen's locker room, as Valmiera added another 8 points to their lead. With the margin set at 17 after three, it looked like it was all said and done.

Borisfen did manage to raise their scoring in the final period, but it way off from being enough, and they suffered another record-breaking loss.

Nevezis sneak away with a win against Jurmala


KEDAINIAI – It turned into a close game in Kedainiai, where Nevezis barely shook off Jurmala/Fenikss' run and ended up claiming their third win in five games, 71-65. It was a one-sided performance for most of the game, but the Latvians managed to give Nevezis a run for their money in the final quarter.

Nevezis got hot early on and immediately leaped ahead, scoring 28 points in the first quarter. They didn’t let up in the second either and with the help of dominant Paulius Petrilevicius, expanded their lead to double-digits.

It was no picnic for Jurmala/Fenikss in the second part of the game, too. The Latvians had to work hard for all of their points, but still stayed reasonably close, although the gap did widen. It was a 14 point spread after three fourths of the game.

It seemed to be a done deal, but Jurmala/Fenikss surprised the opposing fans with a cool 9-0 run to start the quarter, allowing them to cut the lead to just five. Nevertheless, Nevezis held on to the small margin for the remaining eight minutes, and took the victory.

Paulius Petrilevicius led the way for Nevezis with 19 points, while Karolis Petrukonis added 12. Ignas Vaitkus and Deividas Kumelis were also solid with 10 points each, as the latter also added 6 rebounds and 4 assists.

On the other side of the court, it was Ugis Pinete scoring high, as he tallied 16 points. Edminds Elksnis added 15, while Jekabps Rozitis was accountable for 10.

Triobet BBL Weekly Review: Volume 5


Another week is now in the books and there wasn’t too much action in the Triobet BBL this time. We had only three games to play this week, but we’re still as excited to present you the fifth volume of the Triobet BBL Weekly Review.

MVP. Rinalds Sirsnins, who is known to be a volume shooter, went all-out in his team‘s one-point win against Tarvas. While he was still his old self, firing at will from downtown (4-of-14), he was incredible on the boards and getting his teammates involved and was on the verge of a triple-double. The guard led the team with 19 points, 8 rebounds and 9 assists and was chosen as the player of the week.

MISSED BUZZERS. Two games were decided by a margin of a single point this week, and both of them could have easily gone the other way. Janis Kaufmanis missed his last-second three-pointer in Valmiera’s 58-59 loss to Pieno Zvaigzdes, while Tarvas’ Timo Eichfuss could have won the game against Jekabpils with his own long-range shot, as the Estonians lost 82-83.

COMEBACK. What makes things even worse for Tarvas, besides the missed buzzer-beater, is the fact that they were in control for most of the game. However, Jekabpils managed to put up a good run of possessions and turned a double-digit deficit into a win in the fourth quarter alone.

EUROPE. Not too much luck for Baltic teams in other European competitions this week, as only the two clubs competing in the Basketball Champions League achieved victories. Both Juventus and Ventspils improved in the standings, while 4 teams suffered defeats.

DEFENSE. We witnessed a very low scoring affair in Valmiera this week, as their game against Pieno Zvaigzdes set a couple new season records. First off, the two teams combined for just 117 points (in comparison, Jekabpils holds the highest scoring game so far with 104 points just to themselves) and that was the least points scored by both teams in a game. Secondly, the fourth quarter of the game, which ended 10-7, was the lowest scoring quarter this season. A lot of that had to do with the 3-minute drought at the end of the quarter, when neither side managed to put the ball in the basket.

We’re up for a week twice as busy starting Tuesday, with six games on the schedule.

Triobet BBL Player of the Week: Rinalds Sirsnins


Only three games were played this week, and there was seemingly less competition for the Triobet BBL Weekly MVP award, yet even this time we had a couple worthy candidates. None as worthy as Jekapbils‘ guard Rinalds Sirsnins, who filled his statline in all departments.

Sirsnins, who is known to be a volume shooter, went all-out in his team‘s one-point win against Tarvas. While he was still his old self, firing at will from downtown (4-of-14), he was incredible on the boards and getting his teammates involved. Rinalds was on the verge of a triple-double in the victory, amassing 19 points, 8 rebounds and 9 assists.

Sirsnins made up for his sub-par shooting from the field (6-of-17) with his hustle and commitment, leading to an efficiency rating of 24.

With another win this week, Jekabpils has now racked up four wins in five games and are looking very strong sitting in second place in Group B.

Right on his back was Lithuanian forward Tauras Jogela, who had 22 rating points. He was solid with 17 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists, as he led Barons kvartals to their third victory.

European Competitions: Juventus still red hot


As there was not too much action in the Triobet BBL this week, let‘s look at what the eight clubs joining us from the play-offs were up against in other European competitions.

To keep you up-to-date, brings you the latest international updates in a weekly round-up.

7DAYS EuroCup

The one team participating in the 7DAYS EuroCup, Lietkabelis, had a break in the schedule this week. The Lithuanians share the second position in Group A with Croatian side Cedevita and Nizhny Novgorod from Russia.

VTB United League

Kalev/Cramo faced the aforementioned Nizhny Novgorod in the VTB United League and were handed a blow-out loss. In a high-scoring affair,  the Estonian powerhouse were taken care of early on and ultimately faced a 102-81 defeat. Vitali Liutych was the highest scorer for the team with 22 points to his name.

Basketball Champions League

Juventus achieved a thrilling victory in Belgrade, as they took down Mega Leks in a true dunk-off of a game. The Lithuanian team barely managed to hold on to their double-digit lead, as their opponents raced back in the fourth quarter, with a chance to win the game with the final shot (and several tip-ins). Juventus went on to win 79-77 and improved to 3-1 and share the top spot with two other teams.

Meanwhile, Ventspils had an easy win at home, defeating Openjobmetis Varese in dominating fashion. The Latvians amassed an impressive 17-point lead in the first two quarters and put the game to bed in the final period, running away with a 91-66 win. The win helped the team recover from an unexpected loss last week and improve the record to 2-2.

FIBA Europe Cup

More of the same in Siauliai, as the back-to-back-to-back champions of the Baltic Basketball League continue to struggle coping with a much smaller budget. After losing to Tsmoki-Minsk 77-90, the Lithuanians have already lost (all) four games in a row.

After destroying another Triobet BBL club, TLU/Kalev, last week, Vytautas had a gap in the schedule this week. Meanwhile, TLU/Kalev had to face yet another defeat in Saku Suurhall, as BC Mures got the best of them, 76-89. Leading the way for the visitors was a well-known face – Ernests Kalve. The Latvian helped BC Mures with 19 points and 6 rebounds.

The only game that really could have gone either way in this competition was the matchup between Tartu and the Redwell Gunners. The Estonians were close, but close is just not enough. A 77-79 win for the Austrians, and Tartu dropdown the standings.

Barons kvartals take an easy road win in Jurmala


JURMALA – Not much drama in Jurmala today, as Barons kvartals coasted to an easy away victory, taking their third win out of four. They took control early on and coasted to the finish line for the 73-60 win.

Barons kvartals hit the mark early on and looked strong enough to jump ahead by seven points midway through the first quarter. After that, a three minute drought took place, as neither side could manage a point, leading to the same 7-point margin for the Riga side.

The visitors did not let up, and pushed their lead to double-digits in the second quarter, while a number of missed free-throws did Jurmala/Fenikss no favors in cutting the deficit.

There wasn’t much drama in the second half either, as a 14-5 run drove the lead up to 18 points. Edgars Jeromanovs did manage a three-pointer before the third quarter ended, but it was still a 15 point spread going into the final quarter.

The fourth quarter looked to be turning the game into a total blow-out, as Barons’ lead rose to 23 with three minutes to go. However, the home side held their opponents scoreless and managed to trim the deficit to a reasonable 13 points with a 10-0 run.