Strong first quarter pulls TTU past Tarvas


TALLINN – A great opening quarter helped TTU achieve their third victory in eight games, as they managed to defeat Group B rivals Tarvas/Palmse Metall 93-78, as the visitors now drop to just a 2-6 record.

TTU went all out to get a good early start and put themselves in a terrific position after 10 minutes of basketball, as they looked at a 31-17 lead.

Tarvas/Palmse Metall managed to trim the deficit slightly in the second quarter, but just not enough to cut into single digits. Led by Oliver Metsalu, the visitors managed to take the deficit down to 11.

After halftime, Tarvas continued closing in, as they were down by just six nearly midway through the quarter. However, TTU went back to their ways and reinstated a 15-point spread before the final quarter.

Perhaps the visiting side ran out of gas, but they couldn’t make any further coups, as the margin remained very much intact at 15 points until the very end of the game.

Joonas Jarvelainen was once again the go-to guy for TTU, as his 23-point and 10-rebound performance stood out in the game. Sten Olmre added 15 points, while Ivalo Pajumets added 14. Kiur Akenparg ended the game with 11 points.

For Tarvas, Oliver Metsalu was the leading scorer, as he had 17 points on 8-of-11 shooting. Siim Markus Post added 15 points, while Mario Paiste and Timo Eichfuss both chipped in with 11 points.

AVIS Rapla manage a victory in Parnu


PARNU – AVIS Rapla secured their fifth win after defeating sixth-placed Port of Parnu on Tuesday evening. In what turned into a close game, Rapla managed to keep their heads above the water and finished up by 6, 71-65.

Parnu, who now hold a record of 1-6, took control in the later stages of the first quarter, as they jumped ahead by seven, 17-10.

The second quarter was the polar opposite, as Rapla dominated in all aspects of the game. They won the quarter 26-11 and looked at a handsome 8-point lead at halftime.

They managed to up the margin to 11 in the third quarter and looked very much in control to take the victory home. However, Port of Parnu managed to bring a fight back into the game.

While the home side was still down by 14 with four minutes of basketball remaining, they clawed their way back with a 13-1 run to cut the lead down to just two with 50 seconds remaining.

Nevertheless Rasham Suarez managed to convert his shot on the other end, pushing the lead to four, while Parnu didn’t make their three-pointer to stretch the game. Rapla closed out the game with two more points, allowing them the 71-65 lead.

Thomas van der Mars was once again the key man for Rapla, as he scored 15 points and tore down 9 rebounds. Martin Paasoja added 13 points, while the trio of Domen Bratoz, Indrek Kajupank and Sven Kaldre all accounted for 11 points apiece.

19-year-old Norman Kabin was the top scorer for Port of Parnu, as he tallied 13 points. He also added 4 rebounds, 4 assists and 4 steals. Edvinas Seskus added 11 points, while Reinar Hallik and Rannar Raap had 10 each.

Barsy KO'd by Nevezis in second half


KEDAINIAI – A (very late) season-opener was nothing to be too proud of for Barsy Atyrau. They battled fairly well for two quarters, but broke down after the break, as they suffered a blow-out 60-94 loss against Nevezis.

Nevezis got off to a great start, both offensively and defensively, as they jumped out to an 11-4 lead right out of the locker room. However, Barsy responded well, as an 11-0 run pushed them ahead and helped them finish the quarter up by one, while keeping their opponents scoreless for nearly five minutes.

The second quarter was much better for Nevezis, as they overtook their opponents and pushed for a five-point halftime lead. The small gap between the two clubs had us excited for the second half, but Nevezis made sure any attempts of an upset would be denied early.

Nevezis came firing right out of the gates in the second half, as their lead rose to 15 points. Then things took a swing from bad to worse for Barsy in the fourth quarter, as Nevezis opened up the quarter with six three-point plays (including five three-pointers), advancing their lead to an insurmountable 29 points and an eventual victory.

The duo of Ignas Vaitkus and Paulius Petrilevicius went all-out today, as they scored 22 and 21 points, respectively. Ivan Smiljanic added 15 points to the tally, while Toni Prostan was absolutely incredible getting his teammates involved, as he added 17 assists to his 7 point and 4 rebounds totals.

Trevin Parks was the leading scorer for Barsy with 19 points, while Mikhail Yevstigneev added 17 points, 9 rebounds and 5 assists.

Borisfen shown no mercy in Pasvalys


Borisfen’s horrible BBL campaign continued in Pasvalys, as they were once again just a shooting target for Pieno Zvaigzdes, who achieved an easy, 111-61 victory to solidify their position at the top of the league.

The Belorussians actually started the game on a positive note, as they fought bravely throughout the first quarter. They trailed by three points after ten minutes of basketball, 17-14.

That didn’t last too long though, as the Lithuanian side got off to a 9-2 run to open the second quarter and mounted a ten-point advantage. Borisfen then responded with a couple shots made, but the 6-point margin midway through the quarter was the closest they would get. Pieno Zvaigzdes finished the quarter with a 13-2 run and ended up leading by 17 at halftime.

It just got worse after the break. Borisfen managed 4 points in the 1:30 of the half, but went silent from then on, as Pieno Zvaigzdes dominated the rest of the period by a 28-1 margin. Borisfen made just one field goal throughout the quarter.

It was all said and done with that kind of run, but Pieno Zvaigzdes continued harassing their opponents and the lead rose incredibly quickly. Final score – 111-61.

Ignas Fiodorovas enjoyed a good game, as he filled the stat sheet with 18 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists and 6 steals. Justas Tamulis added 19 points, while Nikita Balashov had 15. Egidijus Dimsa chipped in with 10. Karolis Babkauskas ended the game nearing a double-double, 8 points and 10 assists.

On the other side of the court, only Maksim Kozlovets reached double-digits, as he scored 10 points.

Triobet BBL Weekly Review: Volume 8


There’s plenty to talk about in the Triobet BBL this week, as we’ve had a week like no other this year. Records were broken, comebacks were made, (multiple) overtimes were played – what more could you wish for? Let’s round it all up with the 8th volume of the Triobet BBL Weekly Review.

NOVEMBER MVP. Thomas van der Mars continues to show why he should be considered the best big man in the league, after leading his team in scoring and rebounding for the second month straight. He was named the MVP for November after posting 18.7 points and 12.3 rebounds per game.

WEEKLY MVP. Andriy Agafonov put in work in Pieno Zvaigzdes’ hard-earned victory on both ends of the court. The big man scored 27 points, added 7 rebounds and swatted away 5 of his opponents’ shots, including the game saving block at the end of the second overtime.

PRICEY DUNK. The management of Ogre/Kumho Tyre might have to think about banning dunks outright in the near future, as Guntis Sipolins last dunk attempt cost them A LOT. A new backboard, to begin with, and, of course, a victory... Ogre was leading against Tarvas/Palmse Metall by 15 points with 13 minutes of basketball remaining in the game when the backboard was broken. Since the home side couldn’t manage to replace it in a timely manner, they were handed a technical loss 0:20.

DOUBLE OVERTIME. We got more basketball than we hoped for on Wednesday, as we witnessed two overtime dramas. First off, it was Pasvalys enduring Jekabpils’ come-back effort by a single point, 104-103, as the game was decided only in the second overtime.  The 50-minute game would have been a season record by itself, but it was very short lived.

TRIPLE OVERTIME. The very same night the record was broken, as just hours later the Barons kvartals and Liepaja/Triobet matchup included 55 minutes of pure basketball – after three overtimes visiting Barons finally managed to claw out a heroic 111-106 victory.

BLOCKS GALORE. As we already mentioned, Andriy Agafonov set up a block party, and everyone was invited. The big man broke this season’s record for most blocks, as he sent back 5 of his opponents’ shots.

COMEBACKS. Two important comebacks helped reshape the group standings, with the first one taking place in Jurmala. The Latvians erased a 12-point deficit and celebrated a vital victory against Port of Parnu. The second comeback was a little bit surprising – not because it happened, but because it was necessary. Valmiera/ORDO found themselves down by 13 with just a quarter remaining, but that was enough time to turn it all around and take an 82-75 victory against TTU.

European Competitions: Win drought for Baltic clubs


There was some phenomenal being played in the Triobet BBL this week, but let‘s not forget the fact, that we‘ve still got some teams joining us come Playoffs time. keeps you up to date with what‘s going on throughout Europe with the European Competitions round-up.

7DAYS EuroCup

Lietkabelis must sure be glad they booked a second round berth quite early in the season, as they’ve found wins tough to come by lately. With one last round of the regular season remaining, they hold a 3-4 record after falling just short of Nizhny Novgorod. The Lithuanians proved to be a tough opponent, but just like in the two clubs’ first meeting, they needed just a bit more luck, as they fell 89-91.

VTB United League

Another Russian powerhouse stood in the way of Kalev/Cramo last week, as they faced UNICS in the VTB league, and once again, the Estonians were over-matched. The game finished in a fairly close result, 91-104, but it wasn’t a close affair at all. The Tallinn side were down by 24 points after three quarters but managed to claw their way to a more decent deficit. Despite that, Kalev/Cramo’s record drops to 2-5.

Basketball Champions League

After defeating group leaders Neptunas last time around, Ventspils faced another formidable opponent this week. The Latvians fell short of PAOK 81-85 after 45 minutes of basketball, not being able to convert on their possessions in overtime. The Latvians actually held a double-digit lead in the first half of the game, but eventually slipped up, and dropped their record to 3-4.

It wasn’t a good European week for Juventus either, as they crumbled in the final quarter and let go of a victory against Sidigas Avellino. The Lithuanians were still ahead by seven after three quarters, but a horrendous final period set them back, as they lost 75-85. Juventus are still the top dog in Group D with a record of 5-2.

FIBA Europe Cup

The first stage of the FIBA Europe Cup has already ended, and only Vytautas managed to qualify for the next round. The other three teams have already made their exits without securing even a single victory. Vytautas next game will be played on the 14th of December.


Thomas van der Mars rules Baltic basketball, takes November MVP honors


Dutch big man Thomas van der Mars has taken the league by storm, proving to be the a mismatch for any opponent. Finally he’s getting more and more recognition for his play, as a terrific month of November has earned the center his first Triobet BBL Player of the Month award.

The University of Portland graduate joined AVIS Rapla in early 2016, after a short stint in Greek club Kavala. Van der Mars didn’t need too much time to get accustomed in his new role, and from the very start of the new season, has shown incredible numbers all over the court.

The 26-year-old averaged 18.7 points this month, while also notching a double-double in every single game to put him at 12.3 rebounds per game. Van der Mars also contributed with 1.7 steals, 1.3 assists and 1.0 block a game. He is currently the league’s third-highest scorer and rebounder, while he comes in at second in overall efficiency.

Not only has Thomas had personal success, but AVIS Rapla has done exceptionally well with the big man supporting a heavy role on both ends of the court. The Estonian club is currently on top of Group A with four wins and two losses and has yet to lose a home game.

Perhaps their most important victory of the month came against Barons kvartals, as the teams share a 4-2 record. For van der Mars, it was both a team, and personal victory, as he battled against one of the top players in the league Denis Krestinin. It was an 86-80 victory for Rapla and the Dutchman had arguably his best game of the month, scoring 23 points and ripping down 12 rebounds. Krestinin was also solid, but his team‘s woes have left him behind in the MVP rankings.

Thomas van der Mars had already notched three Player of the Week awards this season, and will look to continue his dominance after adding a Player of the Month trophy to the cabinet.

Triobet BBL Player of the Week: Andriy Agafonov


The most exciting basketball week we‘ve had so far has just finished and it‘s time to announce our latest Triobet BBL Player of the Week. A dominant performance offensively and a couple clutch, game-saving blocks has Pieno Zvaigzdes‘ Andriy Agafonov as the best player this week.

The big man was involved in a double-overtime 104-103 win against Jekabpils, and it‘s safe to say that Agafonov played a key role in this exciting victory. Agafonov excelled on both ends of the court, as he recorded 27 points on near-perfect shooting and added 7 rebounds to the tally. He was also active drawing fouls and made all 13 attempts from the free-throw line.

The Ukrainian center was impressive on the defensive end as well, as he broke this season‘s record for blocks with 5, including two game-saving blocks in the final seconds of the second overtime. Perhaps the only thing you could fault the player was his turnover totals, as he turned it over 7 times. Nevertheless, an efficiency rating of 33 puts him in the top position this week.

Agafonov has been efficient throughout the season and he‘s shooting lights-out so far, as he easily makes the 50-40-90 club. He‘s made 31-of-45 (68.9%) two point, 3-of-7 (42.9%) three-point field goals and 30-of-32 (93.8%) free-throw attempts so far this season and hasn‘t finished a game with an efficiency rating smaller than 10.

Spectacular game in Liepaja ends after three OTs


LIEPAJA – Not many people could have expected two double overtime games in one night, but Liepaja/Triobet and Barons kvartals just beat that, pushing their game to three overtimes. After a heroic battle, Barons came out victorious with a 111-106 win.

The game was tit-for-tat for the most part of the game, as both teams started off quite slowly. We saw plenty of lead changes early one, but it was Liepaja up on top after ten minutes, 23-21.

Liepaja/Triobet managed to get away in the second quarter with a terrific start that gave them a 13 point advantage. Nevertheless, the final minute of play before the break helped Barons return to the game and they were down by just 7 at halftime.

The teams went back and forth with shots once again in the third quarter and just when Arturs Ausejs stretched the lead back to ten, Davis Zonne returned a three-pointer to end the quarter on a high note.

The final quarter was intense, to say the least, as Barons now took the upper hand with a small lead putting them on the verge of victory. With 22 seconds remaining, they had the chance to pull up by three, but only one free throw reached the target and allowed Arturs Ausejs to tie the game up with a two-pointer.

Both overtimes were true thrillers, as the aforementioned Ausejs’ final shot in the first OT was blocked, while the second one was a true shoot-out from the free-throw line.

Barons seemed to have a great chance to win, but Roberts Krastins was fouled on his three-point attempt and made all three free-throws to send the game to a third overtime.

We witnessed another five minutes of incredibly close basketball, but Tyler Larson made sure we wouldn’t have a fourth overtime, as he knocked down a long-range bomb to push Barons’ lead to four. Their opponents couldn’t respond and it was a spectacular victory for the Riga side.

Valmiera win fourth by 20 in come-back win


VALMIERA – Things went from terrible to amazing for Valmiera/ORDO in just ten minutes, as they made a tremendous effort to come back and win it 82-75 against TTU, marking their fourth win in six games.

TTU came out firing and seemed to have shocked Valmiera/ORDO with such a great start. The Estonians swiftly mounted a double-digit advantage and looked in control of all aspects of the game.

The Latvian side didn’t manage to respond with something similar, and TTU remained in control throughout the rest of the half. That was also the case in the third quarter, as the Estonians managed to expand the lead. It was already a 13-point spread at that time and things looked real grim for Valmiera.

It must have been something coach Uvis Helmanis said after three quarters, as Valmiera/ORDO came into the final quarter looking like a totally different team. They dominated throughout the whole court, on both ends, and piled up 33 points, while allowing just 13. That was enough to give them a great comeback victory.

Janis Kaufmanis was impressive on the offensive end, scoring 22 points to lead the way. Meanwhile, the trio of Damier Pitts (who also had 9 rebounds and 6 assists), Lauris Blaus and Arturs Berzins all chipped in with 16 points apiece.

On the other team, Joonas Jarvelainen had a great night, as he scored 24 points and added 8 rebounds. Sten Olmre chipped in with 16 points, while Toomas Raadik had a solid double-double with 14 points and 11 boards.