KEDAINIAI – After struggling to find the rhythm in the early going, Nevezis picked up the pace in the second half and snatched their first win of the 2015-16 Triobet BBL campaign by taking an 85-60 victory against the eight-man Barons/LDz on Tuesday evening in Group A action in Lithuania.
Neither side managed to establish a firm grip on the game, but the visitors from Riga found themselves in front 25-20 at the end of the opening period after a 6-0 run to finish the quarter.
However, Nevezis regained a slight edge in the second quarter. Led by Vaidotas Volkus, who had 11 points in the first half off the bench, the hosts finished the first half up 44-42.
An 11-0 run in the third quarter saw Nevezis increase the gap to 55-44 and, having allowed only five points in the period, led 60-47 heading into the last frame, where they sailed to an easy win.
Grant Johnson led all scorers with 15 points for the Lithuanian team, Vaidotas Volkus and Darius Gvezdauskas chipped in with 13 points each, while Saah Nimley finished with 12.
For Barons/LDz, Roberts Freimanis had a team-high 13 points, with Derrick Roland and Davis Zonne adding 12 apiece.
VALMIERA – Before the official start of the 2015-16 Triobet BBL season on Tuesday evening in Valmiera, various well-known personalities took to the court at the Vidzeme Olympic Center to mark the league’s new partnership with its new title sponsor Triobet with a charity game.
Celebrities, high-ranking basketball officials, politicians, actors and journalists joined BBL and Triobet representatives in a game between the Triobet Dream Team and a united team of BBL staff and journalists.
After getting off to an excellent start of the game, it was the Triobet team that cruised to an easy 56-36 victory. The sides donated a total of €1,000 to Valmiera’s SOS Children’s Village and Valmiera Region Community Foundation.
After the friendly game, Triobet was presented as the league’s new title sponsor in an official press conference, where a symbolic agreement was signed.
JURMALA – Jurmala/Fenikss made sure that TTU would have a quite ride home from Latvia, as they took care of business and earned a 65-59 victory on Wednesday evening.
The Estonians were held scoreless for the four final minutes of the initial quarter and it turned it to a one-sided affair for Jurmala/Fenikss. The home team enjoyed an 11-point advantage after the first quarter.
TTU, however, managed to cut the deficit in half by halftime and were already up by three midway through the third quarter. Nevertheless, another scoring drought helped Jurmala/Fenikss regain composure and reestablish an 8-point advantage.
The home side never really seemed to be in trouble in the final quarter, as they kept it at least a two-possession game. They kept moving forward and finished the game ahead by six.
Ivars Zvigurs scored 15 points off the bench, while also totaling 7 rebounds to lead the way for the Jurmala side. Endru Smits came close to a double-double with 9 points and 8 rebounds, while Maris Ziedins and Edmunds Elksnis added 8 points apiece.
PANEVEZYS – After forty minutes of hard-nosed basketball, Lietkabelis managed to go out on top 78-71 against Nevezis in the first Lithuanian derby of the season.
The two Lithuanian sides traded basket for basket in the early stages of the game and neither side could grasp a tangible lead, with a 13-11 lead for the home side.
After a low-scoring first quarter, Lietkabelis managed to pick up the pace and slowly build a double-digit lead. The visitors cut it down to six and now faced only a 32-38 deficit midway through the game.
Nevezis were on point in the third quarter and an 11-2 run allowed them to finally sneak ahead. The game was truly a nail-biter in the making, as only two points separated the teams before the final quarter.
The visitors didn't have as much luck in the final quarter, as they crumbled in the five final minutes. Lietkabelis enjoyed a double-digit lead with two minutes on the clock and safely coasted to the finish line.
Arnas Labuckas was the top-scorer for the home side with 17 points in his tab, while Brandon Wood contributed 16 to the win. Arturas Valeika was also in double digits with 10 point and 6 rebounds. Jermaine Love, who also dished out 6 assists, and Lukas Aukstikalnis ended the game with 8 apiece.
Taylor King led the way for Nevezis with 18 points in just 20 minutes of game time, while Darius Gvezdauskas chipped in with 13. Grant Johnson ended up with 11 points, while Saah Nimley scored 9 in his team's loss.
JEKABPILS – Vytautas showed Jekabpils no mercy in their first game of the season, coasting to an 85-67 victory in the Group B matchup on Wednesday evening.
Vytautas jumped off to an incredible start and a 17-2 stretch had them up by 15 merely six minutes into the game. The score dwindled down before the quarter ended and Jekabpils were back in single-digit range.
While the visitors had trouble finding the basket early on in the second quarter, their stifling defense helped them stay in charge. The shots finally started falling and Vytautas galloped to a 48-32 lead before the halftime break.
It seemed to just get worse for the home team after the half-time break, as the margin soared to the mid-thirties. With a 22 point lead after three quarters, it was apparent that the final quarter would be merely a formality.
The whole starting unit was in double digits for Vytautas, as Vaidas Cepukaitis led the way with 21 points and 8 rebounds. Gytis Sirutavicius added 13 points to the tally, while Laimonas Kisielius and Sarunas Vasiliauskas chipped in with 12 apiece. Vytas Sulskis ended the game with 11 points and 8 boards.
For the losing side, it was Sandis Silavs leading the way, as he scored 14 points. Tyler Larson was good for 12 points and 6 rebounds, while Janis Poznaks finished the outing with 8 points.
LIEPAJA – Liepaja/Triobet got off to a strong in the 2015-16 Triobet Baltic Basketball League season, downing TTU 90-68 in the first day of the new season at home in the Liepaja Olympic Center on Tuesday evening.
Although the first quarter was relatively close for the most part, Liepaja/Triobet jumped in front with a 7-0 run to finish the opening quarter. The Estonians responded with a run of their own to start the second period, edging in front 28-27.
After a close first half, Liepaja/Triobet broke the game wide open by torching the visitors at the start of the third period. Having scored the first 10 points of the second half, the home side gaiend a 50-37 lead and never looked back.
The fourth quarter was merely a formality, with Liepaja/Triobetš duet of Kristopher Richard and Gints Antrops doing most of the work on the offensive end.
Richard collected 19 points, Antrops scored 18 while Toms Leimanis added 14 points and five assists in a winning effort.
For TTU, Kristjan Kitsing had a team-high 18 points and six rebounds. Kiur Akenparg also added 18, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the horrendous shooting night for the Estonian team.
VALMIERA – Valmiera/ORDO started the new Triobet Baltic Basketball League campaign in convincing fashion, taking care of AVIS Rapla 90-59 in the season-opening game.
The hosts held the initiative from the very get-go, establishing a double-digit lead already in the opening quarter, finishing it with a 26-14 advantage.
Valmiera/ORDO continued their dominant performance in the second period, going on a further 8-0 run to increase the gap to 20 points with just over five minutes remaining in the first half.
Trailing by 42-26 at the half, AVIS Rapla failed to make any game-changing adjustments that would alter the flow of events at the Vidzeme Olympic Center.
Davis Rozitis, who already had 22 points midway through the third period, was unstoppable in the post, with Valmiera/ORDO guards feeding the giant in the post with lob passes at every possible opportunity.
However, there wasn't much work for Rozitis in the fourth quarter as, Valmiera, leading 66-43 before the final frame, had wrapped up the win well ahead of the final whistle.
Rozitis finished the game with a game-high 24 points and 15 rebounds for the winners, Martins Laksa scored 12 points, while Janis Kaufmanis and Ervins Jonats chipped in with 10 apiece.
For AVIS Rapla, William Artino had 20 points, seven rebounds and five assists, with Devin Brooks adding 13 points and six rebounds.
VALMIERA – Baltic Basketball League signed a long-term partnership agreement with Triobet, who will be the league's title sponsor for the upcoming three seasons.
According to the arrangement, from this season on, the league will be named Triobet Baltic Basketball League.
”This co-operation agreement is essential to ensure that the competition runs smoothly this season and allows us to look ahead into the future in terms of providing a high level of organisation and continuing the development of basketball in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. We are pleased that Triobet values the work we do and has expressed this with a long-term partnership," said the Director of BBL Romualdas Brazauskas.
"Triobet is one of the biggest local betting providers in the Baltic States with the widest selection of sportsbook odds for the domestic leagues of these countries. Therefore, we seek to actively engage with sports in a variety of ways. In its own right, the Baltic Basketball League is one of the most prominent examples of both contributing to the development of professional basketball in the region and providing the stage for the best Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian sportsmen. With interest, we will be following the performances of teams closely and will have a special Triobet prize at the end of the competition. Furthermore, throughout the season, we will provide fans with many surprises, because every game should not only be a battle between two sides, but also a festive event for the spectators," said Ilze Jansone, the Managing Director of Triobet.
The Regular Season of the 2015-16 Triobet BBL campaign will feature 14 teams, which will be divided into two groups of seven teams. Group A will feature Barons/LDz, Valmiera/ORDO, Lietkabelis, Nevezis, AVIS Rapla, Port of Parnu and TLU Kalev. Group B will be comprised of Liepaja/Triobet, Barsy, Jekabpils, Jurmala/Fenikss, Tarvas, TTU and Vytautas.
In addition, five Baltic teams competing in the FIBA Europe League — Siauliai, Ventspils, Juventus, TU/Rock and Pieno Zvaigzdes — could join Triobet BBL from the Eight-Finals if they do not reach the Play-Offs in the continental competition.
Triobet was founded in 2006 and is one of the leaders in games and entertainment with the widest selection of sportsbook odds and great returns. The company has considerable experience in collaboration with various sports organizations.
Triobet is licensed in Malta and Estonia and has offices in both countries. Its parent company, Betsson AB, is one of the largest independent remote gaming operators in the region, with a history of over 50 years, and is listed on the Swedish stock exchange.
VALMIERA – Heading into its twelfth season, the Baltic Basketball League will announce its new title sponsor before the season-opening game between Valmiera/ORDO and AVIS Rapla at the Vidzeme Olympic Center on Tuesday.
Although the game itself is set to tip off in the evening, fans are invited to show up early as the day’s events will commence much earlier.
To mark the start of the new partnership, a charity game will be played between the title sponsor’s team, featuring famous personalities, and a united team of BBL staff and journalists. A donation of €1,000 will be awarded to a charity, chosen by the winning side.
Following the friendly game, the new title sponsor of the league will be officially presented to the media in a press conference, which will finish with both sides signing the partnership agreement.
The game between Valmiera/ORDO and AVIS Rapla will feature plenty of in-game entertainment, including cheerleaders and a special game for during the halftime break.
Like most BBL games played in Latvia this season, the season-opening duel will be shown live on SportaCentrs.com.
BBL season-opening schedule (Tuesday, October 13):
- 16:00 Title Sponsor vs BBL charity game
- 17:30 Press conference to announce new BBL title sponsor
- 18:30 Valmiera/ORDO vs AVIS Rapla
The regulations for the 2015-16 Baltic Basketball League campaign were confirmed in a Board meeting held in Riga on September 6. The upcoming BBL Regular Season, set to start on October 13, will feature 14 teams from four different countries, with five more clubs potentially joining from the BBL Play-Offs.
The five Baltic teams — Siauliai, Ventspils, Juventus, Tartu Rock, Pieno Zvaigzdes — that will play in the new FIBA Europe competition will join starting from the BBL Eight-Final round if they do not qualify for the FIBA Europe Play-Offs.
The remaining 14 teams will be divided into two groups of seven teams and will play in a round robin format, which will see each team faces their group opponents twice – home and away.
The Kazakhstan team Barsy Atyrau will play only a few games at home, with the remaining matches played away during the BBL Regular Season.
Eleven teams (teams placed 1st – 5th in each group and the best 6th placed team) will qualify for the BBL Eight-Finals. The remaining teams with the highest ranking after the BBL Regular Season will have the chance to participate in the Play-Offs, if less than five teams from FIBA Europe competition participate in the BBL Eight-Finals.
In determining Play-Off pairs, last season’s ranking will apply to the teams participating in the FIBA Europe competition. As champions, Siauliai will get the lowest-ranked opponent, Ventspils, Juventus, Rock and Pieno Zvaigzdes will be second, third, fourth and fifth on the list respectively.
In all Play-Off stages, the competition will be conducted in a two-game home and away format, with the team with the best aggregate score advancing to the next round.
The final standings will be determined in BBL Finals and BBL bronze-medal series, also in the same format.
More than 80 games of the 2015-16 BBL season will be shown live online at DELFI TV and SportaCentrs.com, with the best BBL Play-Off games also broadcasted by Viasat Sport Baltic.