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.

Pyrinto snap five-game drought against Barons/LDz


RIGA – Pyrinto finally managed to get past their five-game slip with an impressive second-half performance against Barons/LDz, as they tabbed the 97-80 (24-25; 25-26; 24-17; 24-12) victory in Group A on Wednesday evening.

This was the third victory in eight games for Pyrinto, while Barons/LDz now dropped to a 2-3 record.

It could not get any closer than how the game started in Riga, as neither team held a lead larger than 4 points for the first 25 minutes. After the first quarter, the two teams were separated by just a single point and after the next ten minutes, Barons/LDz had doubled the lead to two points.

While Barons seemed to have lost initiative in the third quarter, the two foes looked very much evenly matched in the third quarter as well. However, it all changed at the start of the final quarter, when Pyrinto used a 7-0 run to pull ahead by 12. From then on, the margin slowly grew until it finally reached game-high 17 points.

Tyrone Kent was simply spectacular, as he amassed 30 points shooting 73.6% from the field, 9 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals. Damon Williams chipped in with 18 points and 7 rebounds, while Will Harris and Ville Pekkola had respectively 15 and 12 points.

Ernests Kalve led the way for the Latvians with 19 points, Lauris Mizis added 18, while Jekabs Rozitis scored 13. Klavs Strazdins ended the game with 10 points to his name.

Dynamo nab first victory in Kedainiai


KEDAINIAI ­– There is now one less team without a single victory after Dynamo Moscow overtook Nevezis 90-86 (19-18; 26-13; 23-29; 22-26), who now remain the only team throughout the league with zero wins.

The Russian side finally stole one away after a four-game drought, while Nevezis feeds the bottom of Group C with five losses.

It was a tie duel for the first fifteen minutes of the game, as the two sides couldn’t split apart, but halfway through the second quarter Dynamo Moscow fired away. They ran off to a 16-0 run and were already ahead by 14 at halftime.

However, soon the lead vanished, as Nevezis responded with an 8-0 run of their own. The margin then rose back up with an impressive series of plays by the visitors, who were once again up by 16 with three minutes remaining in the third period.

A series of three-pointers closed the gap back to 8 before the end of the quarter and 3 minutes in, had already tied the game. But once again, Dynamo Moscow ran away with an 8-0 stretch that made life a bit more comfortable. With a minute on the clock, the two teams were again separated by only two points but the Russians played out the final seconds strongly and reached a tough-earned victory.

Former Point Guard of the Brooklyn Nets, Tyshawn Taylor, delivered a great game today, as he tallied 22 points. Pavel Groymko added 18 points and 9 rebounds, while Evgeny Karpeko chipped in with 15. Alimdzan Fediushkin ended the game with 11 points.

Marcus Monroe was outstanding for Nevezis, who just recently had a change in coaching staff. The American scored 17 points, tore down 6 rebounds, dished out 6 assists and tallied 4 steals. Justas Tamulis was the top scorer in the team with 19 points, Alexander Klyuev added 15 points and 8 rebounds, while Rytis Biliartas had 12 points to his name. Roderick Camphor finished the game with 10 points, 13 rebounds and 6 assists.

Dynamo still win-less after loss in Liepaja


LIEPAJA – The walls of Liepaja proved to be impenetrable, as they held back visiting Dynamo Moscow 84-76 (17-23; 22-22; 17-15; 28-16) in the Group C match-up.

The Latvians jumped atop of their group with a 4-1 record, while Dynamo are way below, not having won a single game in four tries.

Dynamo Moscow surged ahead already in the first quarter and after a 10-0 run were ahead 21-13 with nearly nine minutes played.

However, Liepaja/Triobet came rushing back in the second quarter and although halfway through they were already ahead by two points, the visitors cooked up a strong end to the quarter and regained a six point advantage.

Four minutes inside the second half, Dynamo Moscow already held a 13-point advantage, but then the Liepaja side finally woke up and managed to trim the gap to just four by the end of the period with the help of an 8-0 run.

The run carried on into the final quarter as the home crowd witnessed their team’s lead grow to double-digits and the Russians were left out of reach.

Lauris Blaus had an impressive game for the home side, as he tallied 20 points on 9-of-11 shooting and corralled 12 rebounds. Mareks Jurevicus added 19 points, while Dwayne Johnson chipped in with 18. Edgaras Zelionis picked up a double-double of 10 points and 11 rebounds.

Alexey Kuznetsov led the Russian side with 15 points, Denis Zakharov added 13 points and 7 rebounds, Tyshawn Taylor helped with 12, while Vladislav Trushkin ended the game with 12 points.

Jurmala hand Pyrinto fifth straight loss


JURMALA – Pyrinto’s struggles continue, as they faced their fifth consecutive, falling just short of a victory against Jurmala/Fenikss. On the other hand, the 70-69 (18-14; 14-20; 17-16; 21-19) victory allowed the Latvians to break a five game losing streak.

Pyrinto now hold a record of 2-5, while Jurmala finally got their first win in six games.

Throughout the whole game it was nip and tuck, as the largest gap between the two teams was six points, first reached midway through the first quarter after a 7-0 run by the home side.

While for the lion’s share of the second period, Jurmala/Fenikss held a two possession lead, Pyrinto turned it all around with a 10-0 run that allowed them to finish the first half with a 34-32 lead.

The two sides went back and forth for the remainder of the game and with a minute on the clock Pyrinto were ahead by two. However Martins Laksa showed how clutch he was, nailing a three-pointer to give his team the single-point advantage.

Damon Williams responded with a two-pointer of his own, but Laksa struck gold once again, pulling Jurmala up by one with 8 seconds to go. Pyrinto couldn’t convert on their final game-winning attempt and the Latvians celebrated a much-needed victory.

Ugis Pinete led the hosts in scoring with 15 points. Martins Laksa and Kristaps Mediss chipped in with 10 apiece, while Ervins Jonats ended the game with 8 points and 11 rebounds. Arturs Ausejs also had 8 points to his name.

For the losing side, it was Will Harris leading the way with 20 points and 8 rebounds. Damon Williams was responsible for 13 more, alongside 10 rebounds and 6 assists. Topias Palmi added 10 points, while Tyrone Kent ended the game with 9.

BBL Weekly Review: Volume 6


Week six of the Baltic Basketball League (BBL) is in the books and it sure was an extraordinary seven days! Numerous records were broken and some mind-boggling stats were achieved by the players! Let’s round it all out with the BBL Weekly Review!

RECORD! Ronaldas Rutkauskas set a new season record with his unbelievable performance against Barons/LDz, where he scored 37 points, setting a new high in scoring. He also accounted for 11 ofhis team’s rebounds. This was just three points shy of Tanoka Beard’s all-time record.

RECORD II. Vytenis Cizauskas delivered a performance even more spectacular than we just mentioned a day later, as he collected a triple-double against TLU Kalev. Cizauskas had 17 points, 11 rebounds and 12 assists that combined to 36 ranking points for the point guard – a new season record.

RECORD III. Lietkabelis had no mercy for the aforementioned TLU Kalev, as they set a new season record for the highest win margin with a 51-point victory against the Estonians, while tying the highest scoring result with 104 points.

ONLY TEAM STANDING. Kalev/Cramo remains the only team not to have suffered a loss this season after Liepaja/Triobet broke Juventus’ four-game win streak. The Estonians are the only unbeaten team with a 6-0 record.

RUNS. Kalev/Cramo was responsible for the biggest run with no reply this week, as they recorded an 18-0 segment in the 83-72 victory against Pyrinto.

SIRSNINS COUNTER. Rinalds Sirsnins hoisted nine three-pointers in his latest game against Lietkabelis. This time the Latvian made an impressive 7 shots from behind the arc, but that was still not enough for his team. Sirsnins has made 27 of his 63 attempts (4.5/10.5 per game, 42.9%) from downtown this season.

Ronaldas Rutkauskas was clearly the best player this week, as he racked up 35 ranking points against Barons/LDz. However, even 37 points and 11 rebounds proved insufficient for a victory.

Kristaps Valters comes in second place this week with his excellent performance against Rutkauskas’ Parnu. Not only did the veteran score 27 points, dish out 7 assists, but he also nailed in the last second game-winning three-pointer.

Right behind him is Kalev/Cramo big man Kristjan Kitsung, who tallied 29 ranking points. Kitsung led the way for the Estonian club in their sixth consecutive victory with 21 points, 9 rebounds and 4 assists.

Another Kalev/Cramo forward is in the top five, as EJ Singler recorded 23 points, 9 rebounds and 28 ranking points in his team’s victory against Pyrinto.

Closing the top five is Pyrinto’s Tyrone Kent who had a full display of his skills against the BBL leaders. The American scored 28 points, gathered 10 rebounds but it still was not enough for the victory.