Jekabpils outlast Valmiera


JEKABPILS – The home side Jekabpils celebrated an important victory against fellow Latvians Valmiera, as they finally caught up in the standings after the 78-67 (21-19; 12-19; 20-14; 25-15) win.

Both teams now hold the same record of five victories and two losses.

The two sides kept exchanging leads in the first frame and neither of the two Latvian clubs could get ahold of a tangible lead. However, the game shifted in the second frame, as Valmiera took matters into their own hands and jumped ahead. Nevertheless, all they could build before halftime was a slippery five-point advantage.

The visitors couldn’t hang on to the lead for a long time though and the leading team kept changing throughout the whole third quarter.

Jekabpils finally pushed ahead only in the fourth period, as they converted solid defense into good offense and rushed ahead to take a double-digit victory.

Martins Kravcenko and Pavels Veselovs were the two top-scorers for Jekabpils, as they tallied 17 each. Rihards Kuksiks added 15, while Povilas Cukinas ended the game with 10 points.

Justin Hurt was the game’s highest scorer with 25 points. William Spencer added 9, while Matiss Rudmiezis ended the game with 7.

Bricis wins it for Barons/LDz in Pasvalys


PASVALYS – Barons/LDz overcame a fourth quarter double-digit deficit and rose above Pieno zvaigzdes in thrilling fashion. The Latvians nailed a last-second three-point attempt and celebrated a narrow 74-73 (20-17; 17-16; 8-23; 29-17) victory.

The win allowed Barons/LDz to equal their record at 3-3, while Pasvalys lost just for the second time in seven games.

Pieno zvaigzdes were the first ones to jump ahead with a 5-0 start, but the Latvians soon responded and the two sides went neck to neck for the rest of the quarter.

In the second frame, the sides changed roles and Barons/LDz were in the leading position. But, once again, the game evened out before the end of the quarter.

The second half started with an 11-0 run by the hosts, as they jumped ahead by seven. By the time the third period ended, Pasvalys already held an 11-point advantage.

The visitors went speeding back in the final quarter. They slowly cut down on the margin, but with only 30 seconds, were still down by six points. In 20 seconds, they had cut the lead to just one and immediately fouled Gytis Sirutavicius, who converted on only one of his free-throws.

Baronas/LDz then dribbled down the court and attempted a contested, off-balance three-pointer which found the net and gave them the victory.

Kaspars Kambalahad a monstrous game, as he scored 29 points and added 6 rebounds. Ernests Kalve contributed a double-double of 16 points and 10 rebounds, while Nauris Miezis ended the game with 10.

Five players were in double-digit scoring for Pieno zvaigzdes. Osvaldas Olisevicius led the way with 13 points, Kyle La Monte chipped in with 12, while both Laimonas Kisielius and Alexander Oriakhi finished with 11 points apiece. Augustinas Jankaitis had 10 points to his name.

TTU trampled on Lietkabelis' record night


PANEVEZYS – Lietkabelis continue to impress with their top form in the Baltic Basketball League, as they set a handful of new records with their 116-54 (30-8; 36-28; 23-8; 27-10) victory against TTU.

Having won four games in a row, Lietkabelis now hold a 6-2 record, while the loss moved TTU to a 2-5 record.

It was clear that the game wouldn’t be close already in the first quarter, when Lietkabelis used a 15-0 run to leave TTU far behind. Before the quarter ended the lead had grown even more and already reached an astonishing 22 points.

TTU could not recover from this knock-down punch and the margin just kept on growing before it reached 30 points at halftime.

Clearly, the game was already out of reach, but Lietkabelis kept on pushing and added another 15 points to their lead in the third quarter. Although it seemed thing couldn’t get much worse, TTU allowed the Lithuanians to dominate the final quarter as well and it resulted in a loss by 62 points for the visitors.

Every single player in the Lietkabelis line-up managed to get on the score-sheet. Evaldas Zabas led the team with 20 points, 6 rebounds and 7 assists, while 19-year-olds Lukas Aukstikalnis and Gediminas Zalalis chipped in with 16 apiece, with the latter also contributing 8 rebounds. Zygimantas Jonusas was also in double-digit scoring with 15 points to his name. Jurica Zuza and Darius Griskenas ended the game with 9 to their names.

For the losing side, Kristjan Makke and Joonas Jarvelainen ended the game with 14 points each, while Priidik Ulp assisted them with 12 points.

Dynamo Moscow win in Rapla


RAPLA – Dynamo Moscow took their second victory in Rapla, as they barely escaped with a 66-64 (20-18; 12-11; 15-16; 19-19) victory in the Group C clash.

Dynamo now have two victories in six games, while Rapla dropped to a 3-4 record.

For most of the quarter, it was the Russians with the lead, but they found no luck trying to get away from their opponents. For the remainder of the half, Dynamo were in front, but their lead jumped no higher than five points.

It wasn’t until the middle of the third period that Rapla finally jumped ahead. Only for a moment though, as Dynamo responded with a small run of their own. Two points separated the teams before the final quarter.

The Russian side gradually built up a solid lead throughout the quarter and with two minutes on the clock, they were up by eight. Nevertheless, Rait-Riivo Laane drained a three-pointer, Gleb Goldyrev missed his free-throws and in a minute the lead was cut down to just one.

Ernestas Ezerskis made a turnover handling the ball, but recovered with a three-pointer that once again pulled Rapla within one point. The visitors then made good of all their free-throws and celebrated an important victory.

Alexey Kuznetsov led the winning side with 11 points, while Vladislav Trushkin was the only other player in double-digit scoring for Dynamo with 10 points, 9 rebounds and 5 assists. Evgeny Karpeko ended the game with 9 points and 9 boards.

Three players were responsible for the lion’s share of points for Tyco Rapla. Ernestas Ezerskis led the way with 21 points and 5 assists, Rait Keerles added 20 points, while Rait-Riivo Laane ended the game with 15 points.

Pyrinto use OT to sneak past Parnu


TAMPERE – An overtime was required to settle everything between Pyrinto and Parnu, as the hosts rallied late in regulation to steal away the 92-87 (20-27; 15-17; 22-21; 22-14; 13-8) victory in Group A.

The Finns won their second game in a row and improved to a 4-5 record. Parnu, on the other hand dropped to 1-5 with the loss.

Pyrinto found themselves behind from the initial moments and were already down by seven points after the first ten minutes. The margin only grew before the break, as the Estonians managed to push it to 9.

However, Pyrinto's revival began in the second half as they slowly came creeping back. Although 8 points still separated the two sides before the last period, the Finns were finally showing signs of life.

Just halfway through the quarter, the game was already tied, but Parnu shot back ahead by five. However, a couple of bad turnovers cost the visitors the lead and allowed the hosts to extend the game for another five minutes.

In the overtime, Pyrinto had a bit more luck and used free-throws to cement their lead.

Tyrone Kent was once again impressive for Pyrinto, as he tallied 26 points, 4 rebounds and 4 steals. Damon Williams chipped in with 22 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists and 4 blocks. Alex Vaenerberg added 12 points, while Topias Palmi ended the game with 11 points.

On the other bench, the scoring was a bit more spread out. Sandis Silavs led the way with 19 points, while Silver Leppik added 18 points. Rannar Raap and Renato Lindmets had respectively 15 and 14 points, while Ronaldas Rutkauskas was a beast among the boards with 13 points and 17 rebounds.

November honors go to Freimanis


TALLINN – Kalev/Cramo’s Rolands Freimanis became the second player to win the Baltic Basketball League (BBL) monthly MVP award this season, as he tabbed the honors for the month of November.

The 26-year-old played a key role in helping Kalev/Cramo stay undefeated, as they faced two of the top teams in Group A. Throughout those two games, Freimanis averaged 19 points, 10.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists.

The Latvian forward played his best game against Pieno zvaigzdes, when he scored 21 points and tore down 15 rebounds, thus amassing 29 ranking points.

Prior to that game, the big man led his team to an 87-81 victory over Pyrinto with 17 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists.

Kalev/Cramo have shown some tremendous results this season, as they won all six games and remain the only side not to have suffered a defeat. Their next game will be played at home against Parnu on the 10th of December.

BBL Weekly Review: Volume 7


Week seven is in the books and there is only one team yet to achieve a victory remaining in the Baltic Basketball League. Let us round the week’s events out with the seventh volume of the BBL Weekly Review!

SLUMP. Pyrinto started the season off with two victories, yet followed it up with 5 consecutive losses. However, their tough run seems to be over, as they thrashed Barons/LDz on Wednesday evening.

RUNS. Valga Maks ja Moorits were responsible for the biggest run this week, as they used a 15-0 stretch to take over the game against TTU.

COACHING CHANGE. Nevezis were the second ones to endure a coaching change, as former Lietkabelis coach Mindaugas Budzinauskas took reins in Kedainiai.

WINLESS. Despite that, however, Nevezis are still struggling in the BBL. They are now the only team with no wins in the entire league.

TURNAROUND. After starting the season with two wins and two losses, Lietkabelis turned it around recently. The Lithuanians have now won three consecutive games and lead the league in both points scored and overall efficiency.

Lauris Blaus becomes this week’s MVP with an impressive 20-points and 12-rebound performance, adding up to 30 ranking points.

Toomas Raadik and David Haughton were named runners-up this week, as they both had 28 ranking points. Raadik scored 23 points and 9 rebounds, while Haughton contributed 17 points and 12 rebounds.

Marcus Monroe of Nevezis was impressive in his team’s loss with 17 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists, summing to 27 ranking points.

Jaan Puider closed the top five with a great performance against Valga. The TTU guard scored 17 points, added 15 rebounds and 6 assists.

Tyco Rapla pose Tarvas no threat


RAKVERE – Tarvas had no trouble fighting off Tyco Rapla, as they took the lead early and cruised to a 77-54 (24-12; 16-15; 20-16; 17-11) victory on Wednesday evening.

Tarvas is now one of the three teams with four victories in Group C, as they hold a 4-2 record. Rapla, on the other hand, now have a split record of 3-3.

Tarvas were on the run from the initial moments and after only three minutes were ahead 11-0. For the remainder of the quarter they denied any attempt to cut into the margin.

Although in the middle of the second period the visitors had trimmed the deficit to just 7, Tarvas fired right back and regained the double-digit lead before entering halftime.

The margin mostly balanced between 10-15 points during the third quarter, but a strong end to the period allowed the hosts to jump ahead by 17.

The game turned into a total blowout when Tarvas added a 13-0 run to their already solid lead and amassed a 28-point advantage.

David Haughton stood out with a 17-point, 12-rebound performance. Sten-Timmu Sokk also scored 17, while Brandis Raley Ross added 16 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists. Mario Paiste ended the game with 15 points.

Rait Keerles led Tyco Rapla with 14 points, while Rait-Riivo Laane added 12 points. Ernestas Ezerskis and Andre Parn finish with respectively 11 and 10 points.

Maks ja Moorits overpower TTU


VALGA – Maks ja Moorits erased an early double-digit deficit and rose to an important 73-69 (14-22; 20-7; 17-22; 22-18) victory in the Group B match-up against TTU.

Maks ja Moorits are now placed in the fourth position of Group B with a 3-4 record, while TTU are near the bottom with only two wins in six games.

An 8-0 run that started five minutes inside the initial period allowed the visiting side to jump ahead to an early 20-9 lead.

However, Maks ja Moorits proved to be fighters and quickly fought their way back into the game – at halftime they were the ones holding a five-point advantage.

TTU did not let them off the chain and were breathing down their opponents’ necks throughout the whole third quarter.

The hosts finally made some breathing space for themselves with a crucial 9-0 run in the fourth period. Despite that, Maks ja Moorits lead kept dwindling away and the game was decided only in the final seconds.

While the hosts were leading by two points, they missed an opportunity to push the margin to four, but Reinis Strupovics cleaned the offensive glass and followed up with two made free-throws.

Reinis Strupovics was the leading scorer for the winning side, as he scored 27 points. Kristo Saage added 14, while Viljar Veski finished the game with 13 points on perfect shooting.

Toomas Raadik converted on all 11 free-throws and tallied 23 points alongside his 9 rebounds, while Jaan Puidet had an impressive double-double with 17 points, 15 rebounds and 6 assists for Parnu. Kristjan Makke ended the game with 11 points.

Parnu crumble in Pasvalys


PASVALYS – Pieno zvaigzdes returned to winning ways at home, as they took care of Parnu with a 77-62 (14-19; 20-8; 22-19; 21-16) victory Wednesday night.

It was Pieno zvaigzdes' fifth victory in six games, while Parnu are down to a 1-4 record.

The two sides started the game off slowly and neither side could get coast away, but Parnu ended the first quarter on a higher note and went up ahead 19-14 after the initial ten minutes.

While Pieno zvaigzdes had the opportunity to jump ahead, Alexander Oriakhi wasted all four free-throws and Pasvalys only managed to tie the game. For most of the quarter it was a neck-to-neck battle, but a great end of the half allowed the hosts to hold a 7-point advantage at the break.

The home side quickly pushed the margin to double-digits and was already up by 15 at the middle of the quarter. However, a 7-0 stretch pulled the game back into reach, as the scoreboard displayed a 56-46 score after three quarters.

Nevertheless, Pieno zvaigzdes kept control of the solid lead and coasted to the finish line.

Evaldas Kairys led Pasvalys both in scoring and rebounding with 17 points and 9 boards. Laimonas Kisielius added 15 points, while Kyle La Monte ended the game with 9.

Sandis Silavs scored 18 and tore down 6 rebounds for Parnu, while Silver Leppik was the only other Estonian in double-digits, as he added 16 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists. Renato Lindmets ended the game with 8 points and 6 rebounds.