Action in the 2016-17 Triobet BBL campaign will get under way a couple of weeks earlier than the official start of the Regular Season, as the strongest teams from all three Baltic countries will gather in Valmiera for the Triobet BBL Cup 2016.
SIAULIAI – Home fans in Siauliai were witnesses to history being made, as Siauliai overcame a sizeable first-leg deficit against TU/Rock to become only the second team ever in Triobet BBL to lift the tournament crown three years in a row.
The Lithuanian side celebrated a 102-76 victory in Siauliai after an excellent second half after losing the first game on the road in Tartu by seven points.
Siauliai forward Rokas Giedraitis was awarded the MVP of the Final series.
The visitors were not fazed by the rowdy atmosphere in the Siauliai arena and got off to a solid start, taking a 17-12 lead after a Gert Dorbek three-pointer seven minutes into the game. Siauliai didn’t allow TU/Rock to break away, but were indeed behind for most of the first half.
After two quarters of physical basketball, things were as they were at the start of the game, with teams level at 48-48.TU/Rock big man Karolis Petrukonis was unstoppable in the first half of the game, but had already had four fouls.
The halftime pep talk seemed to have been much more useful for Siauliai, who came out with noticeably higher levels of energy after the break. A barrage of three-pointers in the third quarter saw the hosts jump out to a 76-56 lead before the final quarter.
TU/Rock had to rely on three-point shooting to close the gap and while their shorts were falling, they couldn’t handle Cameron Ayers who rained fire from deep on the other end just as accurately.
While the time was ticking down faster and faster, the gap between the sides was not shrinking, allowing Siauliai to confidently march to their third Triobet BBL title in a row. A feat also accomplished only by Zalgiris.
PANEVEZYS – A remarkable comeback saw Lietkabelis erase a 16-point first-leg deficit at home in Panevezys to snatch the Triobet BBL bronze medals straight out of the hands of Valmiera/ORDO.
In an exciting game, the Lithuanian side triumphed 86-64.
The hosts started the game strong, taking a 15-8 lead six minutes into the game, but an incredible 7-point possession by Valmiera/ORDO erased the hard-fought edge Lietkabelis had managed to build with one swipe.
Nevertheless, the Lithuanians remained in control of the game and used a 10-0 run at the end of the second quarter to take a 47-37 over the visits at the halftime interval.
Things did not get much better for Valmiera/ORDO after the break, as Lietkabelis continued their dominant play in the second half and had increased their lead to as many as 17 points in the third quarter.
However, the visitors took a big bite into the Lithuanian side’s lead before the final frame, heading into the fourth quarter down 52-63 on the day, but still up on aggregate.
But it was simply a better day for Lietkabelis who went on another good stretch and took a 21-point lead with five minutes remaining and lasting the distance until the final buzzer.
Lietkabelis coach Kazys Maksvytis:"We are really happy. The gap was quite big, but we did play at home. We changed our game a little bit and made them play one-on-one more, which paid off. They made some difficult shots in the first half, but not anymore in the second half. We fought until the end and I'm happy that we've managed to win the first silverware of the season."
Valmiera/ORDO coach Roberts Stelmahers: "We played against a very good team, they were first in our group. We knew that 16 points in modern basketball doesn't mean anything. We came to Panevezys to play a tough game, but in sports things like this happen. We came up short today."