Lietkabelis breaks records, steamrolls over TLU


PANEVEZYS – Lietkabelis showed TLU Kalev no mercy and set a new season record at home, as they absolutely thrashed  the Estonians 104-53 (25-19; 29-9; 24-15; 26-10) on the lone game on Thursday evening.

Not only did Lietkabelis tie the highest scoring by a single team with 104 points, they also reached the biggest win margin – 51 points.

Lietkabelis have now won all four home games and their total record stands at 5-2, while their opponents are down near the bottom of the group with two wins in five games.

You couldn’t have told that the game would turn out the way it did after the first quarter, as the two teams practically went neck to neck.

However, it all changed in the second quarter, as Lietkabelis turned on the higher gear. They ended the -half with a 21-4 run and were already up by 24 at the break.

The margin grew minute by minute and it was already clear that the final quarter will barely be of any significance, as TLU Kalev already faced a 35-point deficit.

However, the nightmare was not yet over, as the Lithuanians didn’t stop playing. They mounted another run and  finished the game with a 51-point lead.

Lietkabelis’ point guard Vytenis Cizauskas had an extraordinary performance today, as he recorded a triple double of 17 points, 11 rebounds and 12 assists. Dainius Griskenas chipped in with another 17 points, while Zygimantas Jonusas had 16. Evaldas Zabas was impressive with his 15-point, 11-assist and 4-steal performance. Jurica Zuza ended the game with 14 points.

For the losing side, it was only the starting unit that managed to get on the score sheet, as three players reached double-digits. Reimo Tamm was the leading scorer with 15 points, Raido Roos added 13, while Robertas Grabauskas finished the game with 11 points and 12 rebounds.

Juventus win streak snaps in Liepaja


LIEPAJA – Juventus ran out of time to make a 19-point count, as they were forced to face a 74-71 (22-15; 22-13; 17-26; 13-17) defeat against Liepaja/Tiobet on Wednesday evening.

This was only the first loss in five games for the Lithuanians, while Liepaja secured their third victory in four games.

Liepaja/Triobet were firing with all cylinders right from tip-off and after three consecutive three-pointers in the 11-0 run, they were ahead 13-4. Juventus couldn’t fully recover from the cold shower and ended the first quarter with a 7 point deficit.

The Latvians seemed to have decided the game with a run starting at the middle of the quarter, as they pulled ahead by 19 with a 13-0 run.

While 16 points separated the two teams at halftime, Dainius Adomaitis must have said something that ignited the fire in his player’s eyes, as the Juventus squad came out playing much stronger. By the end of the quarter, the lead was still sizable, but definitely nothing out of range – 61-54.

After a 12-2 run, Juventus reached their largest lead of the game, as the scoreboard blasted 63-66. However, Liepaja/Triobet played out the final minutes with cooler nerves and went on to celebrate the tough victory.

Andrius Mazutis had a great game for Liepaja, as he scored 19 points and dished out 5 assists. Edgaras Zelionis was responsible for 13 points, while Janis Antrops and Mareks Jurevicus, who also had 10 rebounds, scored 11 points apiece.

Simas Butelevicius and Vaidas Cepukaitis were the leading scorers for Juventus, as they had 14 points apiece, also tallying respectively 7 and 6 rebounds. Saulius Kulvietis was also in double-digits with 11 points.

Lietkabelis continue rolling with win against Jekabpils


PANEVEZYS – Lietkabelis earned their fourth victory in the BBL after they took care of Jekabpils 84-74 (22-18; 20-21; 23-11; 19-24) at home on Wednesday evening.

Both the Lithuanian and Latvian sides still stand near the top of Group B with a 4-2 record.

At the start of the game, much like in the second quarter, the two sides traded leads swiftly, but neither team managed to get away with a reasonable margin.

However, that all changed when Lietkabelis ran away with an 18-5 run to build up a 16-point advantage. There was nothing much their opponents could do to trim the lead and Lietkabelis celebrated the double-digit victory.

Dainus Salenga was the leading scorer for Lietkabelis, as he scored 19 points. Evaldas Zabas added 12, while Jurica Zuza, who made his BBL debut, Noah Dahlman and Zygimantas Jonusas all chipped in with 10 points each.

As usual, Rinalds Sirsnins was letting it fly from behind the arc, but this time, nearly all his shots reached the target, as he drained 7-of-9 three-pointers. Rihards Kuksiks scored 17, while Povilas Cukinas ended the game with 14. Pavels Veselovs ended the game with 12.

Valmiera edge Maks ja Moorits


VALMIERA – Valmiera’s men had to fight long and hard until they finally reached the 71-68 (15-16; 18-20; 20-17; 18-15) victory against Valga Maks ja Moorits on Wednesday evening.

Valmiera improved to a 5-1 record, while Valga dropped to 2-4.

Valmiera had the stronger start to the game and were soon up 11-3, but by the end of the quarter the tables had turned and Valga was already ahead.

From then on, it was back and forth, as neither side could gather a tangible lead. Only three points separated the teams after halftime and the score was tied after three quarters.

In the fourth quarter, the sides were evenly matched for the first nine minutes and traded blow after blow. However, Marcis Vitols’ threepointer, followed by a series of free-throws allowed Valmiera to take the hard-earned victory.

Marcis Vitols led the way for the Latvians with 21 points, Maris Ziednis added 16 and 7 rebounds. Both Matiss Rudmiezis and Viktors Iljins ended the game with 9 apiece, but the latter also recorded 14 rebounds.

Jurijs Aleksejevs was a beast amongst the boards as he collected 19 points and 17 rebounds. Edgars Krumins added 14 points and 9 assists, while Maris Laksa ended the game with 12.

Rutkauskas’ 37 not enough for Parnu


RIGA – After a neck to neck battle for the whole game, Barons/LDz ultimately triumphed against Parnu 81-78 (20-22; 15-16; 27-24; 19-16) in the Group A match-up.

RIGA – After a neck to neck battle for the whole game, Barons/LDz ultimately triumphed against Parnu 81-78 (20-22; 15-16; 27-24; 19-16) in the Group A match-up.

Barons/LDz now have two victories in four games to their name, while Parnu dropped to a 1-3 record.

For most of the first quarter, it was the visitors leading the way, as they held a 10-point advantage with nearly 8 minutes played. However, the Latvians finished the quarter with a 10-2 run and were down by just two after the first quarter.

Parnu once again shot ahead at the start of the second quarter and were back to their 10-point lead. But just like before, Barons/LDz went right back with a couple of great plays and were down by three points at halftime.

The hosts finally managed to have a taste of the lead in the third quarter and from then on it was a neck-to-neck battle.

Halfway through the final quarter, Barons/LDz were ahead 71-66, but then the visitors had ten unanswered points and put themselves in a good position to win.  However, Kristaps Valters had the final words. He first tied the game at 76 and then gave his team the victory with a long-range bomb with the last couple of seconds ticking down.

Barons’ Kristaps Valters made a statement for the weekly top five, as he scored 27 points and tore down 7 rebounds. Arturs Bricis added 15, while Kaspars Kambala ended the game with 10 points.

For the losing side, it was a one-man showcase. Ronaldas Rutkauskas was absolutely unstoppable and was the sole reason his team was in such a good position. The big man had mind-boggling stats with 37 points (16/26 FG) and 11 rebounds. Sandis Silavs added 13 points, while Renato Lindmets chipped in with 12.

Youth pulls Prienai past TLU Kalev


PRIENAI – Prienai had no trouble dismantling TLU Kalev, as they got away early on and celebrated a 92-74 (28-10; 19-29; 24-14; 21-21) victory on Wednesday evening.

It’s seems the Lithuanian side has finally found their form and have now won two in a row after losing three to start off the season. On the other hand, for TLU Kalev, this was the fifth loss in six games.

Prienai showed dominance right from the initial minutes, as they used a 17-0 run to push their lead to 20 already in the first quarter.

However, the Estonians were not ready to give up. Although the two teams traded buckets for most of the quarter, TLU Kalev managed to cut the deficit in half with an 11-2 run to end the quarter.

Then again, the revival didn’t last long. Two three-pointers by 19-year-old Kajus Okmanas helped Prienai regain control of an insurmountable lead and they coasted to the finish line – the fourth quarter was merely a formality.

For the winning side, Kajus Okmanas and Dominykas Milka were the leading scorers, as they had 17 points each, while the latter also added 11 rebounds. Domantas Seskus was impressive with 16 points, 9 assists and 7 rebounds, while Giedrius Staniulis chipped in with 14. Vidmantas Sragauskis ended the game with 11, while Paulius Ivanauskas nearly had a triple double – 9 points, 9 rebounds and 10 assists.

Robertas Grabauskas was the key player for TLU, as he tallied 27 points and 12 rebounds. Reimo Tamm contributed 17 points, 8 rebounds and 8 assists, while Raido Roos ended the game with 14 points.

Kalev/Cramo squeeze past Pyrinto for 6th victory


TALLINN – Kalev/Cramo did not let up in their second match-up against Pyrinto as well, as they took an 83-72 (25-19; 22-17; 20-17; 16-19) victory in the only game on Tuesday evening.

The Estonians have yet to suffer a defeat and stand on top of Group A with a 6-0 record. Pyrinto, on the other hand, have now lost 4 in a row and hold a 2-4 record.

Kalev/Cramo had the upper hand from the initial minutes, as they launched numerous long-range bombs, trying to sink Pyrinto’s ship. Five of those reached the target and with only six minutes played, the Finns were trailing by 15. However, they finished the quarter strong and were down by just six at the start of the second quarter.

Soon enough though, the hosts were once again ahead by a solid margin and the two sides entered halftime with a 47-36 score glaring on the scoreboard.

The lead only increased in the third quarter and Kalev/Cramo could feel pretty comfortable looking at the 14-point margin before the final quarter. There wasn’t much drama in the final quarter, as Pyrinto could barely scratch the double-digit lead. The Tallinn side went on to celebrate their sixth consecutive victory.

It was the starting unit for Kalev/Cramo doing the heavy lifting, as the bench players only tallied 9 points. EJ Singler and Kristjan Kangur led the way for the Estonian club, as they scored respectively 23 and 21 points besides grabbing 9 rebounds each. Mindaugas Kupsas contributed a double-double of 16 points and 11 rebounds, also adding 4 blocks to the totals. Erik Keedus and Sten Olmre ended the game with 9 apiece.

Tyrone Kent put up an impressive performance for Pyrinto, as he tallied 28 points, 10 rebounds and 4 steals. Damon Williams added 15 points and 7 assists and 4 steals, while Will Harris ended the game with 11 points.

BBL Weekly Review: Volume 5


Throughout the week, there have been some wondrous plays, some magical comebacks and, clearly, some outstanding performances. The Baltic Basketball League (BBL) presents you the fifth volume of the BBL Weekly Review to help round it all out.

NO BENCH. Not often do we see a game, where the bench players leave no mark in the game, but we witnessed just that in Kedainiai, where Nevezis’ substitutes had 0 (zero!) points against Tarvas! Despite that, the Lithuanians kept the game close, but ultimately were forced to face a 70-76 defeat.

GOING STRONG. Only two teams now remain unbeaten in the league after the fifth week, as Pieno zvaigzdes were finally forced to an overtime defeat against Kalev/Cramo, who, alongside Juventus have respectively five and four victories with no losses.

NO VICTORIES. While two teams have yet to suffer a defeat, there are three teams in the league that have not yet felt the joy of victory, as Dynamo Moscow, Nevezis and Jurmala/Fenikss combine for a 0-12 record.

COMEBACK. Pieno zvaigzdes created a small miracle in Tallinn this week, when they rushed back to erase a 7-point deficit in a matter of seconds. They were not as lucky in the overtime, though.

SIRSNINS COUNTER. Once again Rinalds Sirsnins is letting it fly, as the guard launched 8 three-pointers against TLU Kalev, making two. However, this result actually shrunk his three-point attempt average to 10.8 per game. Nevertheless, it must be mentioned that not only is he amongst the top ten scorers, but he is also third on the assisting ladder and twelfth in overall efficiency.

Ovidijus Varanauskas is this week’s MVP, as he shined in Prienai’s first BBL victory this year, as he scored 20 points, grabbed 6 rebounds and dished out 6 assists, summing to a 30-ranking-point performance.

Rolands Freimanis was just as impressive for Kalev/Cramo, as his 21-point, 15-rebound performance helped dismantle previously undefeated Pieno zvaigzdes after overtime.

Giedrius Staniulis, another Prienai athlete, was a great sidekick for Varanauskas, as he took matters in the paint into his own hands and collected a double-double of 14 points and 12 rebounds.

Fourth on the list is Parnu big man Ronaldas Rutkauskas, who had 17 points, 12 rebounds and 5 assists in the win against Jurmala/Fenikss.

Rashaun Broadus of Juventus closes out the list with a great performance in the blowout victory against Tarvas. The guard had 15 points, 8 rebounds and 4 assists and led the Lithuanian team to their fourth straight victory.

Jurmala/Fenikss kept win-less in Parnu


PARNU – Parnu erased an early double-digit deficit and went on to celebrate a 78-68 (15-27; 26-9; 24-18; 13-14) victory on Wednesday evening.

Parnu secured their first victory and now hold a 1-2 record. Jurmala/Fenikss, on the other hand, have now lost five straight.

Jurmala had the upper hand in the first quarter and were soon up by double-digits. However, the hosts went firing back in the second quarter and used a big run not only to erase the deficit but also grab a five-point advantage before the break.

After halftime, I was Parnu in control, as they pushed their lead to 11. Jurmala could not diminish the lead and the Estonians celebrated an important first victory.

Ronaldas Rutkauskas was impressive with 17 points, 12 rebounds and 5 assists for Parnu. Silver Leppik and Sandis Silavs contributed 15 apiece, while the latter also dished out 8 assists. Elgar Tamsalu scored 12, as Taavi Hamarsalu finished the game with 10 points.

Ervins Jonats led the way for Jurmala/Fenikss, as he collected 16 points. Ugis Pinete added 10, while Arturs Ausejs had 9 points.

Jekabpils come back to win it in Tallinn


TALLINN – Jekabpils made a great comeback to secure a victory against TLU Kalev on Wednesday evening, as they brushed the Estonians aside in the fourth quarter to post a 72-66 (19-18; 11-15; 15-21; 27-12) win. 

Jekabpils are now very solid with four victories in five games, while TLU are bottom-feeders of Group B with only one victory in five match-ups.

Neither team could take control of the game in the first quarter, as the margin was never larger than 3 points and the visiting side held a single-points advantage.

It all changed in the second quarter, when TLU ran off to a 9-0 run and jumped ahead by eight. However, the away side managed to close out the quarter stronger and was back in the game before halftime.

TLU Kalev had everything in control in the third quarter, as they gradually built up a 59-47 lead throughout the third quarter and the start of the fourth. But everything turned around drastically when Jekabpils used an 11-0 run to level the game. The visitors took care of the ball in the final moments and celebrated an exciting comeback victory.

Povilas Cukinas led Jekabpils in both scoring and rebounding with 16 points and 9 boards. Rinalds Sirsnins went 2-of-8 from long range and chipped in with 14 points and 6 assists. Edgars Stelmahers and Martins Kravcenko finished the game with 9 points each, as the latter also had 7 rebounds.

Reimo Tamm was the leader for TLU, as he scored 19 points. Robertas Grabauskas added 13 points and 8 rebounds, while Ivar Tulit chipped in with 11. Raido Roos ended the game with 8 points and 7 rebounds.