PANEVEZYS – Life under a new coach for Lietkabelis began on a good note, as the Lithuanian side marked the debut of Kazys Maksvytis with a convincing 101-72 victory against the visiting TLU Kalev at home in Panevezys on Thursday.
Now leading Group A with a 6-1 record, Lietkabelis decided to change coaches earlier this week due to struggles in the domestic league. Previous head coach Gintaras Kadziulis stayed on the team and will now serve an assistant’s role.
The Lithuanians wasted little time fooling around and jumped out to a 22-12 lead already seven minutes into the game. Having finished the first quarter with a nine point advantage, Lietkabelis consolidated their dominance by increasing the gap to 22 points.
There was simply on answer to the home side’s offensive firepower, as TLU Kalev fell behind even more in the second half, dropping to a 3-5 mark.
Lietkabelis’ big man Mile Ilic had a team-high 16 points, nine rebounds and two blocks, Arturas Valeika collected 13 points, seven boards, two steals and two blocks, while Arnas Labuckas also chipped in with 13 points.
For TLU Kalev, Johnny Berhanemeskel was the top scorer with 22 points and six boards, Kaido Saks dropped 11 points and grabbed seven rebounds, but it wasn’t enough for Estonian side to even think about keeping it close.
PARNU – It was a dominant display throughout the whole game for Valmiera, as they jumped ahead early and cruised to a 92-69 victory against Port of Parnu for their fifth victory.
Valmiera opened the game outscoring Parnu 17-2 in the first five minutes. A couple minutes later, the margin had already reached 19.
Parnu did not manage to cut into the lead in the second period and were already down by 24 at halftime. The home side‘s woes just continued in the second half, as Valmiera‘s lead was pushed to 36.
It was all said and done after three quarters and despite Parnu‘s last quarter surge, nothing could be done.
Aigars Skele and Haralds Karlis led Valmiera/ORDO in scoring with 17 points, while Armands Skele added 15 to the total. Arturs Berzins ended the game with 11 points, while Davis Rozitis was good for 10.
Paulius Petrilevicius was a bright spot in an otherwise dim performance, as the Lithuanian scored 17 points, tallied 10 rebounds and dished out 4 assists. Robert Valge and Rain Raadik chipped in with 15 apiece, while Silver Leppik ended the game with 12 points and 7 rebounds.
KEDAINIAI – After a terrific showcase in the national front, Nevezis built on it and were also victorious in the Group A matchup against TLU Kalev, taking a big 84-61 after a dominant second half.
While it was the home side opening the game with two baskets, TLU Kalev answered back with 8 points of their own. Nevertheless, neither team managed to amass a tangible lead and only two points separated the sides after ten minutes.
The Lithuanians were up throughout the entire second period and entered halftime with a four point advantage. They slowly added to their lead after the break and were already up by 14 prior to the last quarter.
Nevezis harbored a large lead throughout the final ten minutes and celebrated their third victory in seven games.
Grant Johnson lit it up for 17 points off the bench, while Ernestas Ezerskis scored 14 with near-perfect shooting. Vaidotas Volkus had a double-double of 12 points and rebounds each, while Saah Nimley added 11 points to the total.
Reimo Tamm was the leading scorer for TLU, as he scored 15 points. Zachary Atkinson added 14 points, while Johnny Berhanemeskel finished the game with 13.
JEKABPILS – After a tough battle in Latvia, Jekabpils added another win to their tally, as they defeated TTU mostly due to their strong second quarter. The Latvians retained control of the lead and finished with a 70-55 advantage.
The opening quarter was truly a nip-and-tuck affair, as neither side managed to build any sort of lead. However, TTU Kalev were left scoreless for the four opening minutes of the second period and Jekabpils grew their lead to double-digits quickly.
By halftime, the double-digit advantage was still in play, as 11 points split the two teams. Jekabpils retained control of their advantage in the second half and were always in control. While TTU tried to make a final surge in the final minutes of the game, Jekabpils never looked in trouble and sprinted to the finish line.
Ronaldas Rutkauskas was the top performer in the game, as he collected 18 points and 10 rebounds for the victors. Tyler Larson added 14 points and 9 rebounds to the total, while Modestas Kumpys finished the game with 9 points and tallied 6 rebounds.
Kristjan Kitsing was the top scorer for TTU, as he scored 14 points. Kiur Akenparg added 11 points to the total, while Rait-Riivo Laane chipped in with 10 points.
LIEPAJA – After an excellent start of the season, Liepaja/Triobet fell into what can only be considered a slump, as one of Group B leaders were handed their second loss in a row by Jurmala/Fenikss, who triumphed in the all-Latvian derby 90-68 on Tuesday evening.
The team from Liepaja had won five in a row to start the season, but their second loss now leaves them with a 5-2 record, while Jurmala/Fenikss improved to 3-5.
After a relatively even opening quarter, the visitors broke away with a 10-0 run to start the second period. Jurmala/Fenikss led by as many as 17 points in the first half. The one-sided play continued in the second half as well, with Liepaja/Triobet struggling to get defensive stops against the inspired guests.
Ivars Zvigurs led the winners in scoring with 18 points, Ugis Pinete collected 16, while Edmunds Elksnis contributed with 15 points.
For Liepaja/Triobet, Khris Richard had 18 points and seven rebounds, Toms Leimanis scored 15 points and dished out nine assists, while Zack Stephan finished with a double-double of 12 points and 13 rebounds.
RAPLA – AVIS Rapla climbed to third position in Group A on Tuesday after defeating Barons/LDz 74-62 at home in Estonia. Having won four games out of six, the Estonian side has looked good of late, while the club from Riga dropped to a 1-5 mark.
After a strong start AVIS Rapla found themselves up by double figures already five minutes into the game after Domagoj Bubalo’s three-pointer swished the net to make it 13-3. The hosts led by as many as 11 points, but a decent start of the second quarter allowed Barons/LDz to get back in the game.
However, AVIS Rapla finished the half with a 6-0 run to restore the nine points lead the hosts held after the opening quarter. The home side led by as many as 18 points in the third period and cruised home with the win in the final frame.
Bubalo was the key man for the winners with 17 points and seven rebounds on excellent 7-of-12 shooting from the field, Indrek Kajupank scored 15 points, while Devin Brooks finished the game with 10.
Meanwhile, Cliff Colimon and Arturs Ausejs collected 20 and 13 points respectively for Barons/LDz, with no other players reaching double figures in scoring.
PRIENAI – Vytautas continued its unbeaten run in Triobet BBL, registering an easy 77-68 victory against the visiting TTU to improve to a 7-0 record mark in Group B on Tuesday evening. Meanwhile, the Estonian club finds itself in a completely different situation, as the loss saw them drop to 0-7.
The hosts, led by Laimonas Kisielius, who collected eight points in the opening quarter, went on an early run and finished the first period up 21-13. TTU tried to keep things interesting, cutting the deficit to three points before the halftime break, but it was Vytautas who finished the second quarter stronger for a 38-31 lead at the interval.
The Lithuanian side increased their advantage to double figures in the third quarter and went on to claim yet another confident win this season.
Kisielius led all scorers with 28 points and five rebounds, Vaidas Cepukaitis scored 16 points and brought down seven boards, with no other players scoring in double digits for Vytautas.
For TTU, Toomas Raadik had a team-high 18 points to go along six rebounds, while Mooses Kaja finished the game with 11 points off the bench.
It did not take long for Paulius Petrilevicius to find his rhythm in Estonia after joining Port of Parnu merely a month ago, as the 24-year-old Lithuanian forward flourished in his new team and notched up November MVP honors in Triobet BBL.
Having endured a rough start of the season, Port of Parnu noticeably picked up their game after the arrival of Petrilevicius, who did not hesitate to make an impact, eventually helping the Estonian side pick up its first win against Nevezis.
In the three games for his new team, the player has averaged 20.7 points, 8 rebounds, 2.3 assists per game and is the most efficient player in Triobet BBL with an average ranking of 24.7.
His best performance came in his debut, scoring 20 points, grabbing eight rebounds, dishing out four assists and coming up with three steals in a 74-81 loss against TLU Kalev.
Petrilevicius will be presented with the award on December 2 at Port of Parnu’s home game against one of Group A leaders Valmiera/ORDO.
It is already the second time this season that the monthly MVP award is going to a Port of Parnu player, with Andrew Warren claiming the honors in October.
With the season in full swing, it was yet another eventful week in the league, marked with Vytautas blowing out Liepaja/Triobet in the biggest duel of the season so far and Port of Parnu finally getting their first win. Let’s take a look at the greatest performances of the week in the fifth volume of the Triobet BBL Weekly Review!
LAST TEAM STANDING. Although it is too early to predict what the final standings are going to look at the end of the regular season, but it is safe to say that Vytautas find themselves in an exceptional position at the moment. The Lithuanians became the last unbeaten team in Triobet BBL after destroying Liepaja/Triobet at home in Prienai. In an unexpectedly one-sided game, Vytautas scored an 89-60 win against the Latvians, who also came in with a clean record, but were handed the first loss in emphatic fashion.
WINNING. After claiming October MVP honors a month ago, Andrew Warren delivered big time for Port of Parnu once again. A stroke of brilliance by the American, who drained a game-winning three-pointer in the dying seconds of the game, allowed the Estonian squad to finally open their victory count this season. Now, only TTU are yet to get the its first win.
BACK ON TRACK. Having dropped two games in a row, Barsy got back to winning ways on Thursday as they clipped Jurmala/Fenikss 72-66. Having fallen short by two points against Jekabpils a few days ago, succeeding to end the draught will be a good sign for Oleg Kiselev’s side, who find themselves with a 3-4 record in Group B.
INTERVIEW. In his interview with BBL.net, the league’s October MVP Andrew Warren spoke about his life in Estonia, the rough start of the season, getting the first win and continuing to improve. Read the full interview here.
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK. There was no match for TLU Kalev’s guard Johhny Berhanemeskel this week, as the American collected 24 points on 8-of-13 shooting from the field to go along with four rebounds, three assists, two steals and a block for a total ranking of 29, as the Estonian side registered an 87-72 victory against Barons/LDz.
There are five Triobet BBL clubs participating in the inaugural edition of the FIBA Europe Cup. However, they will only join Triobet BBL Play-Offs if they fail to advance to the elimination stage in the continental competition.
As the group stage draws closer to the end, BBL.net brings you the latest international updates in a weekly round-up.
Ventspils 86-67 Pieno Zvaigzdes
Ventspils proved to be a class apart from the rest of the group, as they led from start to finish and stayed perfect with an 86-67 home win against Pieno Zvaigzdes. The Lithuanians dropped to a 2-3 record and will now need a victory and some help from Ventspils to advance.
Maris Gulbis led the Latvians in scoring with 12 points. Kristaps Janicenoks, who also had 10 assists, Alan Wiggins and Andrejs Selakovs all chipped in with 10 points.
Zygimantas Skucas had a double-double with 17 points and 10 boards for Pieno Zvaigzdes, as he led the team in both categories. Andriy Agafonov was good for 14 points and 9 rebounds, while Steponas Babrauskas ended the game with 10 points.
TU/ROCK 92-75 ETHA
TU/Rock were red hot throughout the game and enjoyed an easy 92-75 victory against visiting ETHA. They pulled away early in the second quarter and kept building on it after the break to secure a berth in the next round.
Evaldas Zabas was impressive for Rock, as he swished and dished for 22 points and 6 assists. Gert Dorbek added 21 points and 6 rebounds to the total, while Karolis Petrukonis secured 15 points. Brian Harper was an all-around threat in the game, as he added another 15 points, 12 rebounds and 5 assists.
Khimik 80-72 Juventus
Despite being up by nine midway through the third quarter, Juventus were unable to keep hold of the lead for long, as Khimik raced off to an 18-6 run to jump ahead before the final segment. The Ukrainians were just too good in the final quarter and secured an 80-72 victory. Making it to the next round is now a longshot for Juventus, as they still hope to be one of the two best third-placed teams.
Edgaras Zelionis was the leading scorer for Juventus with 15 points, while Egidijus Dimsa added 13 points and 11 rebounds. Spencer Butterfield and Martynas Linkevicius chipped in with 12 and 10 points respectively.
Royal Hali Gaziantep 87-71 Siauliai
While they started off slow, Siauliai pulled ahead by four after an outstanding second quarter and seemed to be in a good position to contend for victory. However, they collapsed in the second half, as the Turkish club outscored them by 20 points to secure a blow-out 87-71 victory.
Paulius Dambrauskas was solid with 15 points for the visitors, while Assem Marei added another double double with 12 points and 10 rebounds. David Dudzinski and Michaelyn Scott finished the game with 11 points apiece.