UTENA – Nevezis managed to put up a fight only for twenty minutes as they faced the league’s best in Juventus. The visitors fell short 82-59 (17-21; 24-18; 21-8; 20-12) in the Group C match-up.
The two teams are on the opposite sides of the standings, as Juventus are going strong with a league-best 7-1 record, while Nevezis are the league’s worst team with no victories in seven games.
Although unexpectedly, Nevezis started the game off on a higher note than the home side. The team from Kedainiai was up ahead by four after the first quarter and quickly moved it up to eight. However, the home side came racing back and jumped ahead with an 8-0 run.
Juventus reached a double-digit lead in the third quarter and were already in a great position for victory with a 15 point advantage. The margin grew to an insurmountable in the matter of minutes and the final minutes of the quarter were merely a formality.
Arvydas Siksnius led the way with 18 points for Juventus. Simas Buterlevicius added 11, while Rashaun Broadus chipped in with 10. Vaidas Cepukaitis ended the game with 9 points and 9 rebounds, while Saulius Kulvietis also had 9.
Joshua Crawford had an impressive outing with 14 points and 14 rebounds. Roderick Camphor and Justas Tamulis had 10 points apiece.
LIEPAJA – Liepaja’s win count moved to six as they dismantled Tyco Rapla at home, taking the 87-68 (23-14; 23-14; 16-20; 25-20) victory in the Group C match-up.
Liepaja are one of the top teams in the league with six victories in eight contests. Rapla, on the other hand have lost six in a row and now hold a 3-6 record.
For eight minutes it was a very close contest but then Liepaja/Triobet jumped ahead and didn’t look back. The margin quickly grew out to become an insurmountable barrier and the Latvians got through easily.
While the visitors managed to catch up, the deficit stayed in double-digits and the final quarter was merely a formality.
Lauris Blaus was the top-scorer for the victors, as he nabbed 20 points and also recorded 8 rebounds. Dwayne Johnson added 15 points, while Mareks Jurevicus and Edgaras Zelionis were also in double-digit scoring with respectively 13 and 10 points.
Rait Keerles scored 14 for Rapla, Ernestas Ezerskis added 13, while Rait-Riivo Laane ended the game with 11.
PASVALYS – The home walls did not seem to be as solid as it was expected, as Lithuanian side Pieno zvaigzdes took over Parnu with their newly named monthly MVP 108-80 (30-24; 23-15; 26-18; 29-23).
Pieno zvaigzdes now hold a record of 6-2, while Parnu have now lost six of their nine games.
In the first quarter the game was very close and high-scoring, but the Lithuanians were in the leading position after the first ten minutes.
The break of the game happened at the middle of the second quarter when Pieno zvaigzdes ran off to a 16-0 run. From that time on, the game was decided and it was not even close.
Laimonas Kisielius had an impressive game for the victors, as he tallied 27 points and 9 rebounds. Michael Dixon and Alexander Oriakhi chipped in with 14 points apiece, while Evaldas Kairys added 12 points to the total. Gytis Sirutavicius was also in double-digits with 10 points.
For Parnu it was two players leading the way, as Renato Lindmets and Sandis Silavs both scored 17 points. The reigning monthly MVP Ronaldas Rutkauskas contributed 13 points, while Janis Vahter ended the game with 10.
The first victory of the year was recorded in Finland, as Pyrinto easily got through Barons/LDz with an 83-53 (26-10; 11-12; 14-20; 32-3) victory in Group A.
Pyrinto is currently all tied up with a 5-5 record, while Barons/LDz have one victory less.
Pyrinto got hold of the game very early on, as the Latvians faced a 16-point deficit at the end of the first quarter. In the second quarter, it was more of the same, as the Latvian bench couldn't find a basket and trailed big-time at halftime.
While the third quarter was a turnaround for the Latvian side, it was still not enough to light a fire in the game, as Pyrinto destroyed their opponents in the final quarter by nearly thirty, leaving the fellow Latvians far far behind.
Damon Williams was the top scorer for the winning side with 16 points and 6 rebounds, while Alex Vaenerberg added 11 points. A couple of others contributed to the victory but none of them reached double-digits.
For the losing side, it was Kaspars Kambala leading the way. He scored 25 points and added 8 rebounds, while Jekabs Rozitis chipped in 7 points and 12 rebounds.
Dynamo Moscow has decided to withdraw from the Baltic Basketball League, citing the complicated economic situation and a tight match schedule. The club officially informed the league office about the decision.
PARNU – After coming in second in last month’s Baltic Basketball League (BBL) MVP race, Parnu’s Ronaldas Rutkauskas moved up a spot and secured the December honors with three impressive performances.
Not only did he achieve great personal results, as he averaged 17 points, 14 rebounds, 2 assists and a block, but he also lifted Parnu out of a tough slump. The Estonians won two of their three games against two very strong opponents in Kalev/Cramo and Barons/LDz. The center also came in second in fan voting.
Rutkauskas is currently the league’s best board crasher with an average of 11 rebounds per game. He is also among the three top scorers and is second in overall efficiency.
The game against Barons/LDz was the Lithuanian’s best performance this month, as he tallied 20 points to go alongside the 16 rebounds. He also dished out 3 assists, totaling 31 ranking points, while Parnu took a 83-71 victory.
The big-man secured another double-double against Pyrinto with 13 points and 17 rebounds and was just one rebound shy for the third one, as he tallied 18 points and 9 rebounds in the victory against Kalev/Cramo.
The award will be presented on the 6th of January in Parnu’s matchup against Pieno zvaigzdes.
The last week of 2014 only consisted of 6 games, but nevertheless, it was a truly exciting one! Let’s look over all the milestones with the tenth edition of the BBL Weekly Review!
WINLESS. Nevezis was only one team in the entire league that didn’t manage to win a single game in the first part of the 2014-2015 season and finished the year with a 0-6 record.
TWO IN A ROW. Kalev/Cramo, who seemed to be one of the front-runners in the league prior to December, have now lost two in a row and both the losses came from the two bottom teams in Group A. The Estonians now hold a solid 6-2 record nevertheless.
LEADERS. Juventus have only lost one match-up in 7 contests, making them the best team in the league at the moment. The Lithuanian side has three games left in their schedule and all of them will be played at home.
STREAK. Lietkabelis pushed their consecutive win total to 6 with the tough 85-81 victory against Valga Maks ja Moorits this week. Meanwhile, besides Nevezis’ league-worst 6 games losing streak, Rapla and TLU Kalev have now lost five in a row.
RUNS. Jekabpils was responsible for the greatest run this week, going 12-0 to turn the game around and leading to the 76-69 victory.
SIRSNINS COUNTER. The Sirsnins counter is back after a short break! Rinalds Sirsnins has yet to attempt less than seven three-pointers this season, as he averages 10 attempts on 40% shooting throughout the year. His most recent performance was subpar however, as he only made two of his nine attempts.
Ronaldas Rutkauskas was the runner-up for the MVP award last month and he sure did his best to move up a spot this week. The Lithuanian scored 20 points and tore down 16 rebounds in Parnu’s victory against Barons/LDz, racking up a total of 31 ranking points.
Right behind him was Roderick Camphor of Nevezis, who, despite his team’s woes, had an outstanding game individually. The guard scored 33 points and gobbled up 7 rebounds en route to 30 ranking points.
Third on the list is another Lithuanian playing abroad – Robertas Grabauskas scored 24 points and tore down 8 rebounds, as he collected 27 ranking points. This performance snapped a streak of three double-doubles in a row.
Kristaps Dargais ended up fourth on the top five. The young Latvian was responsible for 22 of Valmiera’s points and 8 rebounds.
Ivan Nelyubov closes out the list with his 21-point, 5-rebound and 6-assist performance against Maks ja Moorits. The Lietkabelis center amassed 25 ranking points.
PRIENAI – Despite being up by double-digits at halftime, Prienai were unable to defend home ground against Jekabpils, as they fell 69-76 (21-24; 25-12; 7-18; 16-22) in the Group B duel.
Prienai dropped to a 3-6 record with this loss, while Jekabpils sit atop the favorites to win Group B with a 7-2 record.
The teams went neck-to-neck for the greater part of the game with a couple exceptions. It was as close as it gets in the first quarter and the sides were separated by just three points after the initial ten minutes.
Prienai ran away late in the first half, as they built up a 10 point lead before the end of the first half. However, the Latvians, cheered on by a good dozen fans in enemy territory soon came back and were already up by one point after three periods.
They managed to pull ahead by 11 and didn’t let up in Prienai’s final surge.
Janis Poznaks was the go-to guy in Jekabpils’ offense, as he scored 16 points and added 6 rebounds. Rinalds Sirsnins added 15 with 2-of-9 shooting from downtown, while Pavels Veselovs ended the game with 14 points and 8 rebounds. Povilas Cukinas was solid with 12 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists.
Four players were in double-digit scoring for Prienai, as Giedrius Staniulis led the way with 16 points. Paulius Ivanauskas added 15, while Domantas Seskus and Arnas Labuckas finished with 13 points apiece, while the latter also corralled 9 rebounds.
PARNU – Parnu has shown some improved basketball, as they racked their second consecutive victory against a tough opponent with the 83-71 (18-14; 24-22; 19-14; 22-21) victory against Barons/LDz.
Parnu has recently risen like a phoenix with two victories to make it a 3-5 record, while Barons now have a split record of 4 victories and 4 losses.
The game started very slowly as both teams struggled to find any sort of a rhythm. However, once they got going it was a nail-biting affair. The leading side changed 10 times in the first half alone and clearly nothing was set in stone after the first half despite Parnu’s six point lead.
However, the Estonians got in the groove in the third quarter and managed to build up a double-digit lead, which followed them throughout the rest of the game.
Ronaldas Rutkauskas showcased quite the performance, as he scored 20 points and corralled 16 rebounds. Sandis Silavs added 17 points, while Janis Vahter ended the game with 11 points. Rannar Raap and Renato Lindmets chipped in with 9 apiece.
Arturs Bricis was the game’s highest scorer with 21 points and 5 rebounds. Ernests Kalve added 14 points, while Gatis Jahovics finished with 9 points.
PANEVEZYS – Lietkabelis improved their winning streak to six with a tough-earned 85-81 (19-21; 26-18; 24-24; 16-18) victory against Valga Maks ja Moorits on Wednesday evening.
The Lithuanians improved to an 8-2 record, while Valga have now lost 6 of their 10 games.
Lietkabelis looked like the stronger side early on, as they jumped ahead by 7 in the middle of the opening quarter, but it soon turned around, as Valga rushed ahead at the end of the period.
The lead changed hands at the start of the quarter, but ultimately, Lietkabelis were able to make some breathing room and were ahead by 6 points entering halftime.
The Lithuanian side had already reached a double-digit lead in the third quarter, but Maks ja Moorits finished the quarter strong and bounced back to only a six point deficit before the final ten minutes.
While the Lithuanians were the front-runners throughout the quarter, Valga had a chance to rise to victory in the final minute. However, they wasted it with a couple of bad turnovers and Lietkabelis celebrated the victory.
Ivan Nelyubov was the leading scorer with 21 points for Lietkabelis. He also added 5 rebounds and 6 assists. Zygimantas Jonusas only hit one of his six three-point attempts but managed to finish up with 16 points. Dainius Salenga and Evaldas Zabas added 14 points apiece, as the latter also chipped in with 7 rebounds.
Reinis Strupovics scored 25 points for the Estonian club, while Edgars Krumins and Jurijs Aleksejevs, who had respectively 7 and 8 rebounds, added 14 points each to the total.