Jurmala/Fenikss hand Jekabpils surprising blow-out


JURMALA – It was a finish to the year they had been hoping for for Jurmala, as they beat down on visiting Jekabpils and took an 88-65 win in their last Triobet BBL game of 2015.

Jurmala came out with a bang in the opening quarter, as they seemed to be scoring effortlessly and piled up a 25-16 advantage. While the second quarter was much closer, the home side still had an eight point advantage at the break.

Just like in the first quarter, Jurmala/Fenikss had no trouble finding the basket after halftime. They struck a double-digit advantage and didn't look back, building it up to a cozy 18-point margin for the final quarter.

Jekabpils had no luck in trying to diminish their deficit and the visitors ultimately fell short by 23 points, their biggest loss of the Triobet BBL season so far.

Edgars Jeromanovs led the winning side with 18 points and 8 dimes, while Maris Ziedins added 14 points to the tally. Casey Roberts was also in double-digit scoring with 12 points to his name.

Despite his team's loss, Tyler Larson had another good game, as he tallied 18 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists. Arturs Duselis chipped in with 11 points, while Pavels Veselovs and Rinalds Sirsnins ended the game with 10 points each.

TLU Kalev hold off Port of Parnu at home


TALLINN – The all-Estonian clash in Tallinn between TLU Kalev and Port of Parnu was a nail-biter for everyone involved, but it was the hosts who prevailed, picking up a 72-66 victory in front of the home crowd at the Kalev Sports Hall.

TLU Kalev climbed to fourth spot in Group A standings after improving to a 4-5, while Port of Parnu, now 1-7, lost another close game and remain at the bottom of the ladder together in a tie with Barons/LDz.

The guests from Parnu began the game better and led by a couple of points throughout most of the opening quarter. However, after increasing the gap to 22-16 in the second period, allowed TLU Kalev to take control of the game, with the hosts finishing the half up 30-29.

The nip-and-tuck battle continued after the break as well and this time Port of Parnu found themselves by a single point before the final quarter, as Paulius Petrilevicius converted one of two from the stripe right before the end of the period.

After starting the final frame with four unanswered points, the visitors had upped their advantage to 53-48, but it all went downhill from there, with Johnny Berhanemeskel-led TLU Kalev coming from behind to take the win down the stretch.

Berhanemeskel finished the game with a team-high 23 points, Reimo Tamm scored 18 points and grabbed eight rebounds, with no other players scoring in double figures for TLU Kalev.

Meanwhile, Andrew Warren had another big performance for Port of Parnu, scoring 25 points, with Petrilevicius adding 14 points, 10 rebounds, seven assists and two blocks in a losing effort.

Valmiera/ORDO handle Nevezis with ease


VALMIERA – It was another easy stroll in the park for Valmiera/ORDO, who handled the visiting Nevezis with ease, taking a 75-62 victory at the Vidzeme Olympic Center on Tuesday evening in Group A action.

The win puts Valmiera/ORDO in second place in the group with a 7-1 record, while the Lithuanian side dropped to 3-6. 

After a relatively even opening quarter, the hosts started pulling away in the second period. After a 7-0 run, Valmiera/ORDO had opened up a double digit gap already in the first half. Although Nevezis did scale it down to 38-31 by the time for the halftime interval, the hosts were very much in control of the game.

The margin continued its consistent growth after the break as well, with Valmiera/ORDO finishing the third quarter up 58-48 before sealing in the win in the fourth, with Nevezis not causing any troubles.

Martins Laksa was the top scorer for the winners with 17 points and five rebounds, Ervins Jonats collected 12 points and eight rebounds, while Haralds Karlis finished the game with 11 points and four steals.

Meanwhile, big man Mindaugas Kupsas had a double-double of 16 points and 11 rebounds for Nevezis. Taylor King was the only other player in double figures for the Lithuanian club with 11 points and eight rebounds.

Liepaja/Triobet end losing streak in Tallinn


TALLINN – One losing streak came to an end in Group B, while another just took a turn for the worse, as Liepaja/Triobet registered a 65-63 victory against the winless TTU on the road in the Estonian capital on Tuesday evening.

After starting the season with five victories in a row, the Latvian side had fallen short in its last three games in Triobet BBL. Now with a 6-3 record, Liepaja/Triobet are second in the group, while the 0-9 TTU are rock bottom.

It was the heavily favored visitors who got off to a quicker start, scoring the first five points of the game which proved to be the difference at the end of the opening quarter, with Liepaja/Triobet up 20-15.

Although the Liepaja/Triobet’s lead was slowly increasing quarter by quarter, TTU stuck close and kept the deficit in single figures until the end of the first half. Having started the third period up by six, the guests went on a 9-0 lead to increase the gap to 41-26.

However, TTU got the situation under control by the end of the quarter and started to scrape back into the game. The efforts brought results, with the Estonian club levelling the score at 56-all midway through the fourth quarter, forcing Uvis Helmanis to call a timeout.

Liepaja/Triobet players responded well to the pause in play, going on to score six unanswered and restore a slight advantage, which was enough to see TTU off.

For the visitors, Zack Stephan collected a team-best 17 points and nine rebounds, Juris Antrops scored 13 points, while Gints Antrops chipped in with nine points.

Kiur Akenparg had a game-high 21 points for TTU, with Corey Raley-Ross adding 13 points and five boards.

Triobet BBL Weekly Review: Volume 8


It was a slightly unusual week in Triobet BBL with action taking place not only on Tuesday and Wednesday this time around. With the second week of December already in the books, there are a lot fewer blanks to fill in the group stage. Let’s get down to it and look at the events and top performances in the league over the past seven days in the Triobet BBL Weekly Review!

GAME TO REMEMBER. Drama, double overtime and more drama. That was the story in the game between Liepaja/Triobet and Vytautas on Friday evening. Having won the first game by an astronomical 29-point margin, Vytautas found it much harder playing on the road and trailed for much of the meeting. In fact, with four minutes remaining Liepaja/Triobet were comfortably up 72-59, but a comeback, led by Gytis Sirutavicius, saw the visitors force overtime. As if one extra period wasn’t enough, Domantas Seskus brought the Lithuanian side back into the game once again at the end of the first five minutes of additional time with a crazy fade-away three-pointer. In the second overtime, Vytautas prevailed, taking a 107-102 win to keep the only undefeated record in the league.

TALKING ABOUT WINNING. Vytautas is the only undefeated team in the league and their 8-0 record is also the longest winning streak in the league. But who is next in this category? After two wins this week, Lietkabelis extended their good run to six games won on the trot, while AVIS Rapla and Jekabpils have won three straight and have successfully climbed the standings in Group A and B respectively after a sub-par start of the season. On the other end of the specter, we find TTU who at 0-8 are the only winless team in the competition.  

TOUGH STRETCH. It wasn’t the easiest of schedules for Barons/LDz this week, as the side from Riga had to face both Group A leaders, Lietkabelis and Valmiera/ORDO, who have lost only two games combined all season long. As could have been predicted, Barons/LDz fell short in both of them, but they did make both of them interesting. After three quarters of close basketball, Valmiera/ORDO managed to pull away for an 87-75 victory on Wednesday, while Lietkabelis struggled all 40 minutes before coming out on top, 77-70, on Sunday. Barons/LDz have now lost four games in a row and share the last spot in the group with Port of Parnu. That is currently the second-longest losing streak in Triobet BBL.

INTERVIEW. Paulius Petrilevicius, the Triobet BBL MVP for the month of November, spoke with BBL.net about the interesting season he has been having so far, how he has managed to adapt to life in Estonia and the goals for future. You can read the full interview HERE

PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK.  It could have been a night to remember for Andrew Warren, but it will likely be one he will want to forget. The undisputed Port of Parnu leader scored 40 points against AVIS Rapla, but the Parnu side crumbled in the fourth quarter and lost the lead they had managed to accumulate. AVIS Rapla won 78-75, but a 40-point night by Andrew Warren will go down as one of the most impressive performances of the season. It was the second-highest point total for a player this season after Kristopher Richard scored 41 for Liepaja/Triobet in one of the first games of the season. 

Lietkabelis defeat Barons/LDz on the road


SAULKRASTI – Lietkabelis improved to an 8-1 record in Group A after overcoming a strong challenge by Barons/LDz and taking a 77-70 on the road in Latvia on Saturday evening.

It was the sixth consecutive victory for the Lithuanian side, while the struggling Barons/LDz lost for the fourth time in a row, dropping to a 1-7 mark. 

Lietkabelis got off to a better start, scoring the first six points of the game, but the home side didn’t let the deficit get out of hand early. Trailing by two after the first quarter, Barons/LDz strung together another solid stretch and finished the first half on level terms, 35-35.

The third quarter went better for the visitors, who restored a slight edge behind terrific play of Valdas Vasylius. However, the lead was never commanding, with the hosts sticking close through all turns of the game.

Halfway through the final period, the score was all even at 60-60, but the Balkan duet of Miljan Pavkovic and Jurica Zuza scored seven points in quick succession, as Lietkabelis went on a 7-2 run to go up by five.

Barons/LDz had made it a one-possession game on a couple occasions henceforth, but the visitors did not fall under pressure and came away with the win.

Vasylius scored a team-high 16 points for the winners, Miljan Pavkovic added 14 points, six rebounds and seven assists, while Justin Love finished the game with 11 points, five rebounds and four steals.

Despite 32 points by Cliff Colimon, Barons/LDz just didn’t get enough help from elsewhere. Jason Calliste did add 13 points, but no other players score in double figures.

Vytautas defeat Liepaja/Triobet in double OT


LIEPAJA – The battle for the top spot in Group B deserves to be called the game of the season so far in Triobet BBL, as Vytautas came back from behind to claim a 107-102 victory against Liepaja/Triobet in double overtime on the road at the Liepaja Olympic Center in Friday.

It was the eighth consecutive win for the Lithuanian side who are still undefeated, while the Liepaja club’s losing streak continued with the third straight defeat.

Liepaja/Triobet made an early statement in the game after opening the first quarter with an impressive 11-0 run. Although only four points separated the sides at the end of the opening period, the visitors from Prienai knew they were in for a tough one.

The same four-point gap, now 37-33, was between the teams in time for the halftime break. In the third quarter, Liepaja/Triobet went on a run to increase its advantage to double figures, finishing the period up 61-51.

Virginijus Seskus tried to inspire his team for a comeback and Sarunas Vasiliauskas delivered for his coach, quickly cutting the lead to four points with two three-pointers to start the final frame.

With the score tied at 75-75 the end of regulation, teams played five more minutes, but couldn’t settle the winner either, with Domantas Seskus draining a game-tying three-pointer with four seconds left.

The second extra period belonged to Vytautas who drained one big shot after another to take the upper hand and converted from the free-throw line to seal the win in the second overtime period.

Gytis Sirutavicius had 26 points and six rebounds for the winners, Vaidas Cepukaitis finished the game with a double-double of 16 points and 11 rebounds, while Laimonas Kisielius and Sarunas Vasiliauskas finished the game with 13 points apiece.

For Liepaja/Triobet, Toms Leimanis had a team-high 22 points and seven assists, Zack Stephan had a monstrous double-double of 18 points and 18 boards, while Kristopher Richard finished with 17 points off the bench. 

Valmiera/ORDO get over the hump against Barons/LDz


VALMIERA – Barons/LDz fought hard, but Valmiera/ORDO got over the hump in the third quarter and registered an 87-75 victory against their rivals on Wednesday at the Vidzeme Olympic Center.

After improving to a 6-1 record, the Valmiera side regained the second place in Group A, while Barons/LDz, now 1-6, share the last spot with Port of Parnu.

Valmiera/ORDO got off to a better start and gained a 28-19 advantage after a high-scoring opening quarter. However, the visitors from Riga did not give up and managed to cut the deficit to 43-40 in time for the interval after finishing the half with a 7-0 run.

Midway through the third quarter, Barons/LDz already found themselves up 51-47, but that was when Valmiera/ORDO woke up. After going on a 15-4 spurt, the hosts went into the fourth quarter up by double figures.

Although the guests did try to put up a fight, the Martins Laksa-led Valmiera side held off the last attempts of desperation to ultimately secure a home win.

Laksa led all scorers with a game-high 27 points, while Haralds Karlis and Ervins Jonats added 12 points apiece for Valmiera/ORDO. For Barons/LDz, the duo of Jason Calliste and Roberts Freimanis did most of the work, collecting 18 and 15 points respectively.

Lietkabelis light up Nevezis in Kedainiai


KEDAINIAI – It got out of hand quickly in Kedainiai, as Lietkabelis stormed past Nevezis to take a 91-67 victory on Wednesday evening to improve to a 7-1 record in Group A. Meanwhile, the hosts dropped to 3-5.

Having begun the game on a 20-4 run, Lietkabelis set the tone for what was to come and finished the first quarter with a 27-10 advantage.  Vaidotas Volkus opened the second period with a poster dunk on Mile Ilic and things did start to look a little brighter for Nevezis, who got the deficit down to 12 points at the halftime break.

However, that was as close as the hosts got, with Lietkabelis pulling away after the interval once again, going up 66-49 before the final frame, where the visitors cruised to the win with the gap between the teams growing even further.

Valdas Vasylius was the leading scorer for the winners with 17 points and seven rebounds to his name, Miljan Pavkovic added 15 points, five assists and two steals, while Justin Love chipped in with 13 points and six boards.

For Nevezis, Grant Johnson was the only player in double figures with 17 points on 6-of-8 shooting from the field. Volkus scored nine, while Saah Nimley finished with eight points.

Tarvas top Jurmala/Fenikss in Rakvere


RAKVERE – Tarvas managed to defend their home court in Rakvere against the visiting Jurmala/Fenikss club on Tuesday evening, as the Estonians turned up to play in the second half to take a 82-70 victory against the guests from Latvia.

The win allowed the Rakvere side to improve to a 4-3 mark, while Jurmala/Fenikss dropped to a 3-6 record.

Tarvas got off to a better start, taking a 19-16 lead after the opening quarter, but the Latvian team rallied back in the second quarter to go up 37-35 at the halftime break.

However, an improved effort in the second half saw Tarvas take the upper hand once again. Led by the duet of Reinis Strupovics and Nemanja Maric, the Estonians went on an 8-1 run spanning the end of the third quarter and the start of the fourth to go up 58-51.

Soon enough, there was a double-digit gap separating the sides, with Strupovics draining a jumper to make it 71-60 with under four minutes remaining and Jurmala/Fenikss never recovered.

For the winners, Maric and Strupovics shared a team-high 15 points, while Roberts Stumbris added 10 to go along eight rebounds.

Meanwhile, Jurmala/Fenikss were led by Maris Ziedins, who finished the game with 13 points and five rebounds, Endru Smits, who also had 13, and Casey Roberts and Edgars Jeromanovs, who both added 12.