Valmiera win big in Valga


VALGA Valmiera came out victorious on the road in Estonia, defeating Valga Maks ja Moorits 97-82 (15-18, 24-20, 33-15, 25-29) in the border town to improve to a 9-2 record in Group B on Wednesday evening.

The Latvian team did not have the best of starts, falling behind 14-6 eight minutes into the game. However, Valmiera rallied back and cut the deficit to three points (15-18) before sneaking ahead into a 39-38 lead at the half.

The visitors took initiative after the break and ran away to a double-digit lead after winning the period 33-15. Having established a comfortable 72-53 lead heading into the final frame, Valmiera cruised to an easy win after a strong second half.

Justin Hurt led all scorers with 27 points, having made 5-of-10 from downtown, Davis Rozitis added 15 points and 10 rebounds, while Sam Dower Jr added a big double-double of 13 points and 13 boards.

For Valga, Jurijs Aleksejevs collected 26 points, Edgars Krumins had 17 points, while Viljar Veski chipped in with 13.

Cukinas nails three-pointer, wins it for Jekabpils


TALLINN – Jekabpils came out victorious on the road in Tallinn and made it five wins in a row after a clutch three-pointer by Lithuanian big man Povilas Cukinas, defeating TTU 73-72 (22-19, 24-19, 12-16, 15-18) in a Group B clash on Wednesday evening at the TTU Sporthall in the Estonian capital.

The visitors enjoyed a better start and led 22-19 after the opening frame, extending the advantage to 46-38 at the halftime break. However, the hosts did not give up and rallied back, cutting the gap in half in the third quarter.

Having entered the final frame down 54-58, TTU went on to make it a one-point game after a free-throw by Joonas Jervelainen made it 61-62. The teams traded baskets, but Jekabpils remained in front until a three-pointer by Kiur Akenparg gave the home team a 72-70 edge with just over a minute on the clock.

However, with 16 seconds remaining, Povilas Cukinas knocked down a three-pointer to push Jekabpils in front just before the finish line.

Andrejs Selakovs had a double-double of 14 points and 11 rebounds for Jekabpils, Pavels Veselovs collected 13 points, while Cukinas added 11 points and eight rebounds in a win.

Andrew Arnold led TTU with a game-high 25 points, also adding seven rebounds, with Kristjan Makke scoring 12 points.

Pieno Zvaigzdes nip Kalev/Cramo


PASVALYS – Pieno Zvaigzdes used a late fourth quarter run to snatch an 84-77 (19-16, 22-23, 22-23, 21-15) home victory against Kalev/Cramo and climb atop the Group A standings with a 7-2 record.

It was a nip-and-tuck affair right from the start, as neither side managed to establish a sizeable advantage. Although the hosts had jumped out to a 12-6 lead after Alex Oriakhi’s basket, Kalev/Cramo managed to slice the deficit in half at the end of the first period, trailing 16-19.

The game continued going back and forth, with the teams exchanging leads on a regular basis. Having won both the second and third quarters by a single point, the Estonian side entered the fourth quarter down only by one point at 62-63.

Rolands Freimanis got on a roll for Kalev/Cramo at the start of the final frame, scoring 13 points in a row for the Estonian team, allowing the visitors to jump out to a 75-70 edge four minutes into the game.

However, Pieno Zvaigzdes finished the game on a 14-2 run, retaking the lead and rather effortlessly seeing it out behind a superb effort by Laimonas Kisielius, who collected a game-high 24 points.

Alex Oriakhi and Tauras Jogela, who added 10 rebounds, collected 13 and 11 points respectively for Pieno Zvaigzdes.

Lithuanian big man Mindaugas Kupsas finished with a team-high 18 points and nine boards, while Rolands Freimanis chipped in with 17 points and seven rebounds. 

BBL Weekly Review: Volume 11


The league started off the new year with a busy week. There were some major announcements and some off-the-charts performances. Everything in just a couple of minutes – here on the BBL Weekly Review: Volume 11.

The league started off the new year with a busy week. There were some major announcements and some off-the-charts performances. Everything in just a couple of minutes – here on the BBL Weekly Review: Volume 11.

MVP. Ronaldas Rutkauskas started the new year on the right foot, being named the December MVP for his outsanding performances. The big man led stuggling Parnu to two victories in three games with averages of  17 points, 14 rebounds and 2 assists.

RETREAT. Dynamo Moscow prepared the league a New Year‘s surprise – they announced they‘ve drawn out of the league, citing the club‘s financial problems and a tough schedule.

SIRSNINS COUNTER. Rinalds Sirsnins shot less then 7 three-pointers for the first time this season. In the match-up against TLU, the Latvian attempted only five long-range shots and made two of them. Sirsnins has tried the long-range shot 85 times in 9 games this season and only 14 two-pointers. But hey, when you‘re shooting 40%, why not let it go?

COMEBACK. The game against Prienai was clearly not the best for Valga Maks ja Moorits. Although they had tallied a 20-point lead in the eighth minute, from that moment on, everything turned around and the Lithuanians not only caught up, but also passed their opponents.

CONTINUES. TLU‘s hopeless season is about to stop. They now have a league-worst 7 game losing streak after falling to TTU in the Tallinn derby. Happily, there is only one game remaining in their schedule.

Laimonas Kisielius became this week’s MVP with a 32-ranking point performance. The forward scored 27 points and added 9 rebounds in Pieno zvaigzdes’ 108-80 victory against Parnu.

While he was quite far away from the leader as far as ranking points go, Robertas Grabauskas was TLU Kalev’s leader in both of the team’s games. He averaged 18.5 points and 9 rebounds, adding up to a 20.5 ranking point average.

Right after him is Andrejs Selakovs, who was a vital part of Jekabpils’ win against TLU. The center played a really efficient game, scoring 14 points, while adding 13 rebounds and 2 blocks to the total.

Maks ja Moorits’ Jurijs Aleksejevs also enters the top five this week with a 21-point, 9-rebound and 4-assist performance. However, the Estonians still fell short of victory after giving up a 20-point lead.

Lauris Blaus takes the fifth spot after leading Liepaja/Triobet to a victory over Rapla. The big man was solid all-around, scoring 20 points, tearing down 8 rebounds and swatting away 3 opponents’ shots.

Jurmala/Fenikss top Parnu at home


JURMALA – Despite an outstanding performance by the reigning MVP Ronaldas Rutkauskas, Parnu fell short of victory for the third time in a row, as they faced Jurmala/Fenikss. The match-up between the two Estonian sides was close, but the home side ultimately ended on top 72-64 (23-17; 18-10; 15-23; 16-14).

Jurmala tied Parnu’s win count with this game as the two teams hold respectively 3-6 and 3-7 records.

The sides went neck to neck for the lion’s share of the first quarter before Jurmala/Fenikss put up a huge run, helping the home side jump ahead by 16.

The lead came dwindling down in the second quarter and entering the final minutes of the third period, it was once again just a one point game.

However, the visitors let their opponents regain a tangible lead and the Jurmala side finished the game with a safe gap.

Ilja Gromovs was extraordinary for the victors, as he tallied 36 ranking points, consisting of 21 points and 12 rebounds. Ugis Pinete and Martins Laksa added 11 points each.

Ronaldas Rutkauskas was just as impressive for Parnu, as he scored 25 points and tore down 13 rebounds. Rannar Raap and Janis Vahter finished the game with 10 points apiece.

Changes in the BBL Regulations concerning the qualification for the Eighth-Finals


As we informed earlier, BC Dynamo Moscow pulled out from the BBL competition and will not play their remaining two games of the BBL Regular season.

TTU take Tallinn darby


TALLINN – The Tallinn derby ended in a blowout victory for the home side TTU. They led throughout the whole game and manhandled TLU Kalev 88-68 (19-14; 23-17; 25-13; 21-24).

TTU now hold a record of 3-6, while TLU Kalev suffered their seventh straight loss and are dead last in the group with 1 win in 11 games.

While the game started off close, as midway through the first quarter the two teams were separated by merely five points. However, that is when TTU started rolling. They managed to gain a double-digit lead before halftime and everything went easily from there.

A 14-0 run early in the third quarter gave the home side a 24 point lead. There was no way TLU could manage a comeback and 19 points was as close as they got. TTU coasted to the finish line and celebrated their third victory.

Kiur Akenparg led the victors with 22 points. Joonas Jarvelainen contributed 19, while Mooses Kaja was responsible for another 13. Jaan Puidet was strong amongst the boards with 8 points and 10 rebounds.

Robertas Grabauskas once again led TLU in scoring with 21 points and 7 rebounds. Thomas Droney added 17, while Raido Roos ended the game with 11.

TLU destroyed in Jekabpils


JEKABPILS – Jekabpils gave the home crowd something to talk about with their impressive victory against TLU Kalev. They took control from the initial minutes and pushed their lead into insurmountable territory quite quickly, en route to their 78-48 (20-13; 13-6; 22-16; 23-13) victory.

The Latvians now hold a 7-2 record, while TLU have only one victory in 9 games.

Jekabpils were the leading team from the first minutes and slowly built up a lead. At the end of the first quarter, 7 points separated the two sides.

TLU’s offense was frozen in the second quarter, as Jekabpils only allowed six points to give them a 14 point advantage at the break.

The gap just expanded in the second half and clearly, the final quarter was just a formality. Despite that, the margin grew exponentially in the last ten minutes and reached 30 before the final buzzer.

Andrejs Selakovs led the way with 14 points for Jekabpils. Pavels Veselovs and Rinalds Sirsnins chipped in with 11, while Devin Taylor had 10.

Robertas Grabauskas had 16 points and 11 rebounds to his name, while Reimo Tamm was the only other TLU Kalev player in double-digit scoring.

Valmiera hold off Lietkabelis


VALMIERA – Valmiera extended their victory tally in a great game against Lietkabelis. The Latvians came back in the final quarter and tabbed the 74-71 (20-19; 19-18; 15-23; 20-11) victory.

Valmiera got their eighth victory in ten games, while Lietkabelis dropped to an 8-3 record.

While Valmiera were the early frontrunners, three consecutive three-pointers gave Lietkabelis a six point lead. The two sides went back and forth for the whole second quarter and only two points separated them at halftime.

Lietkabelis pulled forth in the third period, as they won the quarter 23-15. The lead was still fragile and we saw the home side quickly wiping it all out.

 In the middle of the final quarter the score was finally all tied up. The two teams exchanged missed free-throws and it was in favor for the leading Valmiera, who took a tough 74-71 victory.

Marcis Vitols led the way with 18 points, Justin Hurt accompanied him with 16 to his name, while Sam Dower Jr. ended up scoring 13.

Egidijus Dimsa had a solid double-double of 12 points and 13 rebounds for Lietkabelis. Evaldas Zabas and Ivan Nelyubov scored 11 apiece, while Jurica Zuza ended the game with 10 points.

Prienai come back to win in Valga


Valga Maks ja Moorits led by twenty points at one moment of the game but were still unable to hold off against group rivals Prienai. They got off to a great start but unable to finish as well, losing 70-68 (28-15; 11-17; 15-19; 14-19).

The Estonians now hold a record of 4-7, while the Lithuanian side is a spot above with 4 victories in ten match-ups.

Valga came out firing with all cylinders and were already up 26-6 with six minutes played. The margin was cut down to 13 before the end of the opening quarter. Prienai turned it around in the second quarter and got the lead down to seven.

As the game carried on, Valga’s lead kept diminishing. Prienai chased their opponents down and before the final quarter, it was just a 3-point margin.

The final minutes of the game were chaotic, as both teams turned the ball over multiple times. After Vidmantas Sragauskis made one of his two free-throws to extend the lead to two points, Kalvis Krumins still had a chance to tie the game up. However, his shot was blocked by Paulius Ivanauskas and Prienai celebrated a huge comeback.

Ovidijus Varanauskas was the leader of the pack for Prienai, as he scored 23 points. Paulius Ivanauskas added 12 points, 8 rebounds and 4 assists, Vidmantas Sragauskis contributed 11 points to the total. Arnas Labuckas had a good night under the basket, scoring 8 points and tearing down 12 rebounds.

Jurijs Aleksejevs scored 21 points for the losing side and also tore down 9 rebounds. Viljar Veski chipped in with 16, while Reinis Strupovics had 13.