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.

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.