With a regular season full of excitement, on-court and off-court drama, records and wonderful skill showcases, it has come to a finish. Eight clubs, top four from each group continue their quest for a trophy with the first step being the BBL Quarterfinals.
The pairs were decided by a traditional two group format, where the first seed of Group A plays the fourth seed of Group B, second seed of Group A plays the third seed of Group B and vice versa.
All qualified teams will be ranked from 1st to 8th place according to their win-loss records for determining home/away games in the BBL Semi-Finals and the BBL Finals (the team with the higher ranking after BBL Regular season will play the second game at home), but the Quarterfinals will be played out as follows:
The winners of the 1st pair will face the winners of the 3rd pair in one side of the Playoff tree in the Semifinals, while the winners of the 2nd and 4th pairs will line up on the other.
The games will be played in a home-away format and the team with an advantage in the combined score of both games will move on to the next round. The first leg of the Eight-Finals will be played on the 27-28th of February, while the second leg will be carried out after a week's break, on the 6-7th of March.
LIEPAJA - In a game that had little meaning to the final standings, Betsafe/Liepaja held on to a 63-61 victory over visiting Tsmoki Minsk.
Liepaja earned their third victory, improving to a 3-7 record and tied the 4th-seeded Port of Parnu in the win column, but that was not enough for a place in the Playoffs due to their head-to-head results.
The loss means Tsmoki finish with the league's worst record, with their only victory coming against the aforementioned Parnu club a couple weeks ago. The Belorussian side is dead-last with a 1-9 record.
Liepaja had a great effort from Markes Jurevicus, who dropped 16 points and dished out 4 assists. The trio of Toms Leimanis, Karlis Leimanis and Roberts Krastins all ended the night with 9 points apiece.
Tsmoki had two players in double-digit scoring, as Yauheni Beliankou led the way with 16. Anton Vashkevich added 12 points to the tally. Viktar Ausepian was strong under the boards, tallying 8 points and 11 rebounds, while Aliaksei Laskevich added another 8 points and 7 boards.
TALLINN - Pieno Zvaigzdes finished the regular season on a high note, tabbing their eleventh victory, defeating TTU 96-68.
The Pasvalys secured the league-best 11-1 record and took the top spot in Group B with little competition. TTU finished with a 3-9 record, finishing ahead of Valmiera/ORDO for the fifth spot.
While Osvaldas Olisevicius was the top scorer with 17 points for Pieno Zvaigzdes, it was Vyacheslav Bobrov raking in the man of the match honors, as he assembled a double-double of 16 points and 11 boards. Tomas Lekunas had 14 points, while Lis Shoshi ended up with 13 plus 10. Arturs Ausejs finished the game with 12 points to his name.
As for TTU, Toomas Raadik ended up being the leading scorer, as he dropped 15 points to the tally. Martin Giese added 12, while Sten Olmre picked up 11 on a horrific 4-of-15 shooting night. Oliver Metsalu and Matthias Tass finished up with 10 points each.
OGRE - Despite an 89-85 Ogre victory, it was the players of Tartu University smiling at the end of the game, as they achieved their goal of losing by less than six points.
Having won the first game 70-64, the Estonians didn't even need a victory today to hang on to the second seed and it was a thriller of a game right until the very last second.
With the whole Playoffs picture already clear, this means the result still has Tartu in the second position with an 8-4 record, as they look to face off against AVIS Utilitas Rapla in the Quarterfinals. Ogre have an identical record, but that one final miss has them battling a much fiercer opponent, Siauliai, who have their last seven games.
Ogre had the game's highest lead in the third quarter, as they powered ahead by 10 points, but that margin was short-lived and with three minutes remaining, the two teams were separated by just one point. While Ogre managed to get ahead by seven, Kristjan Kitsing drained a three-pointer with nine seconds remaining to hand the Estonians the required result.
Tartu relied their on their key players to carry the team in this game, as the starting unit accounted for 79 points, while Ogre's bench had more than half - 45.
Janis Poznaks came close to a double-double with 22 points and 9 rebounds, while Roberts Niedra came off the bench for 16 points and 4 blocks, while Gints Antrops added 16 points of his own. Rinalds Sirsnins chipped in with 13, while Marcis Vitols finished the game with 10 points and 7 assists.
Vytenis Cizauskas had a terrific night for Tartu, as he went off for 26 points and 7 assists. Tanel Sokk added 20, while Kristjan Kitsing and Janar Talts ended up with 17 and 13 points, respectively.
JURMALA - Leading from the first minute to the last, Jurmala made sure they topped Group A by defeating Tsmoki Minsk 90-57.
Jurmala finish with a 9-1 record in Group A, as a better head-to-head record over Siauliai allowed them to finish first in the group. For Tsmoki, they sit with a league-worst record of 1-8 and their final game will not matter much.
It was a no-contest from the very first minute to the last, and Jurmala gave a lot of time to their bench players in this easy victory. They reached their biggest lead, 36 points, in the fourth quarter and didn't look back.
Ivars Zvigurs had a terrific 18 minutes on the court, dropping 20 points and adding 9 rebounds. Haralds Karlis added 16 points, while Marcis Saulitis chipped in with 13. Edgars Jeromanovs ended up with 10 points.
Yauheni Beliankou and Andrei Rahozenka were the two players in double-digit scoring, scoring 15 and 14 points, respectively.
TALLINN - Pieno Zvaigzdes claimed their seventh consecutive victory, as they easily took care of Tallinna Kalev/TLU and took home a 98-77 victory.
Pieno Zvaigzdes secured a league-best 10th victory and sit atop of Group B with a 10-1 record. For TLU, the loss leaves them fourth with a good 7-5 record, a win short of Tartu and Ogre.
Kalev/TLU did not lead for a second, as they saw the Lithuanian side gradually run away and claim a tremendous tenth victory.
Jahenns Manigat seemed to be gelling into the Pasvalys team roster well, leading the squad in scoring with 18 points. Vyacheslav Bobrov added 16 points, while Trevon Hughes had a dozen. Nikita Bolashov and Tomas Lekunas joined the double-digit club with 10 points each.
For TLU, the trio of Bamba Fall, Kristo Saage and Kiur Akenparg were the key players. Fall led the way with 18 points and 9 rebounds, while Saage added another 18 to the tally. Kiur Akenparg finished with 14 in his account.
Four terrific performances and three victories this month allowed University of Tartu veteran Janar Talts claim the BBL Player of the Month award for the month of January.
The 34-year-old Power Forward has been in scintillating form this past month, averaging 18.8 points, 8.3 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.8 steals and another 1.8 blocks per game, as his team climbed up the standings with three consecutive wins to end the month.
Talts' most impressive performance came right after the New Year, as he dropped 25 points and added 8 rebounds for a total of 31 ranking points. Despite his terrific performance, Tartu failed to overcome Kalev/TLU and fell just short.
However, the Estonian side surprised a lot of people with an 80-74 win against previously unbeaten Pieno Zvaigzdes. Talts had another terrific performance in that game, going off for 19 points, 10 rebounds, 4 steals and 3 blocks.
He followed that up with another two good games, scoring in double figures in limited time, as Tartu blew out Valmiera/ORDO and Barsy.
Tartu's last game of the regular season will be in Ogre, where they hope to assert themselves as the number two seed in Group B.
SIAULIAI - Siauliai finished their regular season campaign with a streak of seven victories, as they defeated AVIS Utilitas Rapla 107-77 on Wednesday evening.
The victory at home allows the to finish the regular season with a 9-1 record, which ranks them among the top teams in the league. However, because of a worse head-to-head result against Jurmala, they have to wait for the rest of the results in both groups to find out their final spot in the standings and their Playoffs opponents.
The loss doesn't mean much for Rapla, as they stay in the third spot with a 5-5 record.
The Lithuanians took no time to assert their dominance, as they reached a double-digit lead early in the second quarter, and kept on building up on it. The lead reached a game-high of 33 points in the final quarter.
Laurynas Birutis had 21 points and 7 rebounds, as he led his team in scoring after missing out on their last game. Sarunas Beniusis added a double-double of 15 points and 10 rebounds, while Arminas Urbutis and Evaldas Saulys finished the game with a dozen points each. Kristupas Zemaitis swished and dished for 10 points and 10 boards.
Gert Dorbek was the leading scorer for Rapla with 15 points, Devonte Upson added 13, while Indrek Kajupank ended the game with 10.
JURMALA - Just one step separates Jurmala from a first-place finish in Group A, as they jumped up the standings with an 85-73 win against Port of Parnu.
The victor pushes Jurmala's record to 8-1 tying Siauliai for the first position. However, the Latvians had a better result when the two top teams lined up against each other, so they barely need a win against Tsmoki in their next game.
Tonight's game doesn't really change Port of Parnu's position, as the seventh loss for the Estonian club still keeps them above Betsafe/Liepaja who have little-to-no chances to qualify.
The home side got ahead early on and already harbored a double-digit lead after the first half. They managed to do their best to keep ahead and safely finished off the game.
Haralds Karlis led Jurmala in scoring with 16 points. He also added 5 steals and 4 assists to the tally. Ugis Pinete contributed 14 points and 8 boards, while Ervins Jonats and Kristaps Plavnieks finished with 12. Denis Krestinin tallied a double-double of 11 points and 10 rebounds, while Marcis Saulitis added 10.
Karl Martin Kask and Saimon Sutt were the only two players to score in double figures, as they had 19 and 15 points, respectively.
OGRE - Ogre claimed an important victory today that helped them climb up the standings, as they defeated TTU 80-66.
For TTU, this was just a chance finish higher up in the standings, but they have long been out of contention for the Playoffs. It was a very important win for Ogre, though, as they continue their battles with Kalev/TLU and Tartu on deciding the 2-to-4 seeds. They currently stand in the third spot with a 7-4 record.
For three quarters it was a level-pegged game, as the two teams took turns with the lead. However, Ogre broke loose in the final ten minutes, going from a four-point advantage after three quarters to leading by 18 seven minutes later.
Rinalds Sirsnins was once again firing it up from downtown, as he dropped 18 points and added 7 assists. Marcis Vitols and Janis Poznaks chipped in with 16 apiece, while Rihards Zebergs ended up scoring 11.
For TTU, Martin Giese's 20-point and 11-rebound performance was one of the highlights in the game. Toomas Raadik added 12 points, while Oliver Metsalu chipped in with 11.