Reinforced Valmiera blows past Prienai


VALMIERA – With some recent reinforcements, Valmiera continue to succeed in the BBL, as they cruised past Prienai with a solid 88-71 (21-17; 22-19; 23-18; 22-17) victory.

Valmiera are amongst the leaders in Group B with six out of eight wins, while Prienai finally dropped a game after a 3-game winning streak. They now hold a 3-4 record.

Valmiera tipped off the quarter strong and in no time were ahead by eleven points. However, the visitors managed to close in by the end of the quarter and finished the quarter down by four.

The hosts didn’t wait up and were soon back ahead by a solid margin. Yet, once again, Prienai managed to creep up right before the end of the period.

The Lithuanians came as close as three points to their opponents in the midst of the quarter, but before the final quarter started, the Latvians were already up by 12.

Valmiera’s lead reached a game-high 19 points in the final quarter and it was clear who would turn out victorious.

Vytenis Cizauskas, who just recently transferred from Lietkabelis, made his Valmiera debut today, as he scored 7 points, grabbed 5 rebounds and dished out 5 assists.

Justin Hurt was very effective today, as he scored 26 points, tore down 6 rebounds and made 4 assists. Martins Vinauds was also in double-digits with 14 points, while Davis Rozitis, who had 15 rebounds, and Sam Dower Jr. ended the game with respectively 11 and 10 points.

Ovidijus Varanauskas was impressive for the losing side, as he tallied 20 points and 5 rebounds. Giedrius Staniulis added 17 points and 6 rebounds, while both Paulius Ivanauskas and Dominykas Milka ended the game with 8 points apiece. Ivanauskas also added 8 rebounds to the boxscore.

Valga crumble late, lose to Jekabpils


VALGA – Jekabpils were dominant in the fourth quarter and that just proved sufficient to nab a 76-63 victory against Maks ja Moorits on Wednesday evening.

Jekabpils are now among the three teams tied for first place with 6-2 records, while Valga stand fourth with four victories in nine games.

Throughout the game, the lead changed hands 13 times and it was absolutely clear that the two sides would give it their all already in the first quarter, as only two points separated the rivals.

The second quarter started off with a big drought, as neither team could score for nearly four minutes. At the end of the first half Maks ja Moorits stood just barely ahead.

Things did not loosen up in the third quarter, as it was a neck-to-neck duel, but all was finally settled in the final quarter. Jekabpils kept on building up their lead until it reached the game-high 13 points.

The visiting side was led by Povilas Cukinas’ 15 points. Mikus Sokolovs added 13 points and 7 rebounds, while Rinalds Sirsnins and Devin Taylor scored 11 apiece. The latter also had 11 rebounds – all in just 18 minutes of game-time.

Maris Laksa was the leading scorer for Maks ja Moorits with 17 points to his name. Reinis Strupovics added 16, while Jurijs Aleksejevs chipped in with 10 points, 11 rebounds and 4 assists.

Kalev/Cramo shocked by Parnu


TALLINN – Parnu delivered perhaps the biggest shock of the season, as they took care of previously unbeaten Kalev/Cramo in hostile territory. In the game with 11 lead changes, the visitors ultimately rose victorious 83-73 (15-15; 22-18; 21-19; 25-21).

This was the first loss in seven games for Kalev/Cramo, while Parnu secured their second victory to go with five losses.

The game went head to head for the whole first half and neither team could jump ahead by more than five points. Surprisingly, it was the underdogs Parnu with the lead at halftime.

The two sides kept exchanging leads for most of the third quarter too, but starting from the 28th minute, it was Parnu with the advantage until the very end of the game.

Parnu extended their lead to 12 in the final period and safely coasted to the victory.

Sandis Silavs was the leading scorer for Parnu with 23 points and 5 assists. Ronaldas Rutkauskas added 18 points and 9 rebounds, while Silver Leppik finished the game with 17. Taavi Hamarsalu ended the game with 9 points to his name.

Rolands Freimanis, who was finally presented the November MVP award, led Kalev/Cramo in scoring with 16 points. He also added 12 rebounds to the tally. EJ Singler chipped in with 14 points, while Erik Keedus was responsible for 11 more.

Late surge wills Barons/LDz past Jurmala


RIGA – Barons/LDz used an outstanding second half to wrap things up in their duel against fellow Latvians Jurmala/Fenikss and take the 90-75 (13-17; 27-27; 24-17; 26-14) home victory.

Barons/LDz are in the middle of the pack in Group A with 4 victories in 7 games. Jurmala, on the other hand are at the very bottom of the group with just a single victory in seven attempts.

Surprisingly, Jurmala/Fenikss were the first ones to jump ahead in the game, as they gathered a 12-4 lead. However, the tables quickly turned and soon it was Barons/LDz with a slight advantage.

The two sides stayed close together for three quarters, but then a 13-0 run decided the fate of the game, as the home side amassed a solid lead.

Jekabs Rozitis was an unstoppable force today, as he recorded 22 points and 13 rebounds. Lauris Mizis was also impressive with 19 points and 5 rebounds, while Ernests Kalve finished the game with 18 points and 8 rebounds. Arturs Bricis scored 9 and tallied 6 assists.

Ervins Jonats had a terrific game as well, as he also scored 22 points and tore down 13 rebounds. Kristaps Mediss ended the game with 19 points, while both Martins Laksa and Roberts Mednis ended the game with 9 to their name.

Juventus win back-to-back in Estonia


RAPLA – Despite a tough duel against Tarvas yesterday, Juventus found the strength to make it two victories in a row, as they dismantled Tyco Rapla 79-63 (18-12; 20-20; 22-18; 19-13) in the Group C match-up.

Juventus now hold a 6-1 record and have already played all five road game in the group stage. Rapla, on the other hand, continue to struggle, as they faced their fifth consecutive loss after starting the season with three victories.

Juventus went on the run late in the first period, as they secured a 6 point lead, which grew to double-digits soon in the second quarter.

However, Rapla raced back and with just a few minutes burned in the second half, were all-tied up. Despite that, the Lithuanians were quick to regain the double-digit lead and cruised to a solid victory.

Juventus had some balanced scoring tonight, as 7 players scored eight or more points. Arvydas Siksnius was the leading scorer with 13 points alongside his 6 rebounds. Saulius Kulvietis and Simas Buterlevicius, who also tallied 7 rebounds, both had 12 points, while Vaidas Cepukaitis finished the game with 10 points and 6 boards.

For the losing side, it was the starting unit doing the heavy lifting. Rait Keerles and Janar Soo scored 15 points apiece and added respectively 6 and 7 rebounds, while Andre Parn chipped in with 12 points. Rait-Riivo Laane ended the game with 9 points, 4 rebounds and 6 assists.

Juventus return to winning form in Rakvere


RAKVERE – After slipping up in Liepaja last week, Juventus returned to winning ways against Tarvas, as they fought out a tough 88-82 (23-19; 19-14; 22-29; 24-20) victory over the Estonians in Tuesday’s only match-up.

Juventus climbed right back on top of Group C with this victory, as they are now accompanied by a 5-1 record. Tarvas dropped to a 5-3 record.

Juventus were on the outside looking for the most of the first quarter, as the hosts quickly mounted a two-possession lead. However, an 8-0 run turned it all around and the Lithuanian side ended up ahead 23-13 after the initial ten minutes.

The visitors finally reached their first double-digit lead of the game couple of minutes inside the second period and held on to the solid advantage for the rest of the quarter.

However, Tarvas were back in the race soon after halftime, as the lead dwindled down to just one midway through the third quarter. The margin then rose to seven but before the final ten minutes, only two points separated the opponents.

Another 8-0 run by the Utena side to start off the quarter was the key to victory, as Tarvas could not get back into the game.

Rashaun Broadus led the team in scoring with 19 points to his name. Arvydas Siksnius and Edgaras Stanionis scored respectively 18 and 17 points, as they also grabbed 6 rebounds apiece. Valdas Dabkus had the game’s only double-double of 15 points and 12 rebounds, while Vaidas Cepukaitis ended the game with 10 points and 7 rebounds.

Brandis Raley Ross was incredible for Tarvas, but apparently even his 28 points and 5 rebounds and 3 steals couldn’t do the trick. David Haughton added 17 points and 7 rebounds, while Juris Umbrasko chipped in with 13 points and 6 rebounds.

BBL Weekly Review: Volume 8


The winter has brought us a handful of outrageous performances and a couple new records to go alongside. Let’s round it all out with the eighth volume of the BBL Weekly Review!

MVP. Rolands Freimanis was chosen the MVP for the month of November after he averaged 19 points, 10.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game in two Kalev/Cramo victories.

RECORD. Lietkabelis set records in scoring in nearly all possible categories against TTU. The Lithuanians had the highest scoring in a single quarter (36), a half (66) and in a game as a whole (116). They also had the highest number of ranking points with 157.

RECORD II. To make that even more impressive, Lietkabelis were rock-solid on defense, as they allowed their opponents to score only 54 points, which helped them achieve a victory by 62 points – the best result in the league.

ATTENDENCE. Although it is said that Lithuania is the land of basketball, only one of the top five teams in attendance is Lithuanian. Atop the charts stand Valmiera,  Kalev/Cramo and Juventus, representing all three Baltic states. All these three teams attract over a thousand fans every game, while the two bottom clubs TLU Kalev and Prienai barely get 70 fans a game.

RUNS. It’s safe to say that Lietkabelis was the most dominant side this week and it’s no surprise they hold the biggest run this week. An 18-0 stretch in the first frame of their game helped the Lithuanians amass a 22-point lead early on en route to their record-breaking victory.

NO DEFENSE. Once again TTU steals the spotlights, as their defense proved worthless. The Estonian club suffered two losses this week by an average margin of 53.5 points, as their opponents averaged 114.5 points per game.

Brandis Raley Ross showcased tremendous skills in his game against Dynamo Moscow and becomes the weekly MVP. The Tarvas guard scored 35 points, tore down 5 rebounds and dished out 5 assists to amass 32 ranking points.

Evaldas Zabas was not far behind him with his efficient 20-point, 6-rebounds and 7-assist performance against TTU, when he racked up 31 ranking points.

Domantas Seskus makes his Top 5 debut with a 28-ranking point performance. The Lithuanian scored 21 points, corralled 6 rebounds and distributed 4 assists in his team’s victory.

The Latvian basketball spotlight shone on Kaspars Kambala once again, as he delivered a terrific performance against Pasvalys. The big man scored season-high 29 points and added 6 rebounds to the 27 ranking point total.

Dominykas Milka, the third Prienai player on the list, closes out this week’s Top 5 performers with his 17 points and 8 rebounds against the aforementioned TTU.

TTU wrecked in Prienai


PRIENAI – Prienai had no trouble defending home grounds against TTU, as they battered their opponents in the 113-68 (20-18; 31-20; 34-12; 28-18) blow-out in the only match-up of Thursday evening.

Prienai are making strides to move out from the bottom of Group B, winning their last three games to make it a 3-3 record. The Estonians have recently been having problems finding a route to victory, as they’ve dropped their four last outings and hold a 2-6 record.

Only the first quarter proved to be competitive, as the two sides went back and forth for the initial ten minutes.

However, it all changed in the second frame, as Prienai began their dominance by slowly building up a double-digit lead.

It just got worse after the break, when the Lithuanians just manhandled TTU, winning the third quarter by 22 points. As 35 points separated the two sides, the final ten minutes were merely a formality and Prienai advanced to their biggest victory this season.

Domantas Seskus had an outstanding game, as he scored 21 points and tore down 6 rebounds. Vidmantas Sragauskis added six three-pointers to reach 18 points, while Dominykas Milka finished the game with 17 points and 8 rebounds. Ovidijus Varanauskas scored 15 points and dished out 8 assists, Arnas Labuckas chipped in with 14 points, while Giedrius Staniulis had 13 points and 10 rebounds.

Kristjan Makke and Joonas Jarvelainen scored 15 points each for TTU, while Kiur Akenparg and Mooses Kaja scored respectively 12 and 10 points, as the latter also recorded 9 rebounds.

TLU's woes continue against Valga


TALLINN – TLU Kalev’s struggles continue, as they were forced to their seventh defeat against Valga Maks ja Moorits, who managed to steal away an 81-66 (12-14; 22-16; 26-20; 21-16) away victory.

Valga’s recent improvement in form has helped them to a split 4-4 record, while TLU is at the bottom of Group B with only one victory in eight games.

The first frame of the game was as close as ever, as the two sides were separated by no more than two points.

Valga found a way to jump ahead in the middle of the second period, as they rushed ahead by eight. However, their opponents were soon breathing down their necks. At halftime Maks ja Moorits held a 4-point advantage.

Little by little, the visitors gathered a tangible lead in the third quarter and entered the final quarter with 10 points to spare. TLU did not pose a greater threat in the final ten minutes and Maks ja Moorits coasted to the victory.

Reinis Strupovics led Valga in scoring with 24 points. Jurijs Aleksejevs was solid with a double-double of 16 points and 10 rebounds, while Edgars Krumins chipped in with 14 points.

Ivar Tulit was the key man for TLU, as he scored 18 points. Reimo Tamm added 16, while Robertas Grabauskas ended the game with 10 points and 13 rebounds.

Tarvas snap Dynamo's successful streak


RAKVERE – Brandis Raley Ross delivered a beat-down to the Russian visitors, as the hosts Tarvas snapped Dynamo Moscow’s two win run with an 87-81 (25-19; 27-24; 21-19; 14-19) victory on Wednesday evening.

Tarvas and Dynamo now have opposite win-loss records, as the Estonian club holds five victories and two losses, while the Russians have won two games and lost five.

Tarvas took initiative from the get-go, as they amassed a double-digit lead just halfway through the first quarter. While their opponents managed to cut it down to six, Tarvas looked a step faster in most situations.

The margin hovered around five points throughout the second quarter, but the Estonians finished out the quarter on a higher note and pushed the margin to nine – 52-43.

Tarvas had already jumped ahead by twelve at the beginning of the second half, but the visitors fought back and slowly trimmed it down to just three. Nevertheless, Brandis Raley Ross had the final say at the end of the quarter, as he willed his team to an 11-1 run.

Ross’ show continued in the fourth period, as he helped increase the margin to fifteen and, as it seemed, decided the outcome of the game. However, all was not over – Dynamo Moscow set up a 15-2 run and cut the lead down to just two. Ultimately, the Estonians played out the final minutes with colder heads and ended up on top.

The aforementioned Ross was responsible for 35 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists, while Sten-Timmu Sokk added respectively 13, 5 and 4. Mario Paiste and Juris Umbrasko both had 11 points, while the latter also chipped in with 12 rebounds.

For the losing side Tyshawn Taylor was the top scorer. The American scored 23 points, added 6 rebounds and 5 assists. Serdar Annaev contributed 13 points, Alexey Kuznetsov scored 12, while both Gleb Goldyrev and Evgeny Karpeko finished the game with 11 points each.