VALMIERA – Having demonstrated dominant play throughout the season, Pyrinto clinched the first spot in Group A with a 78-69 victory against the hosts Valmiera on Tuesday evening.
The win puts the Finnish team at a 10-1 record and out of reach from the second-placed Dolphins. Meanwhile, Valmiera, now 5-6, are also through to the BBL Playoffs, but are still fighting for a better seed.
Although the Latvian side got off to a better start, jumping ahead by 7 late in the first quarter and struggled to catch up for the most of the first half, their dominance showed right after the break. A 15-2 run finally helped the Finns take control of a tangible lead. Despite all the effort, Valmiera came up short in the fourth after having trimmed the lead to just 4 with half a minute remaining on the clock.
Kelvin Lewis was the top scorer for Pyrinto with 18 points, while Antero Lehto and Alex Vaenerberg had 12 each. Damon Williams and Antti Nikkila were also in double-digits, as they scored 10 apiece.
Valmiera's Ernests Kalve ended the game having scored 18 points and gobbled up 9 rebounds, while Janis Kaufmanis chipped in with 17 points. Viktors Iljins finished up with 10 points and a season-high 15 rebounds.
As the regular season curtain call gets closer and close, the Baltic Basketball League (BBL) continues providing you opportunity to quickly overlook all the main events and spectacular performances that took place in the league in the weekly review.
PASVALYS – Pieno Zvaigzdes continued their unbeaten run in the BBL, taking a 101-67 home victory against the visiting Barons kvartals on Saturday evening in Pasvalys.
The Lithuanian team sits atop the Group C standings with an 11-0 record, while Barons dropped to a 5-6 mark.
After a strong start to the game, Pieno Zvaigzdes broke away to a 25-12 lead in the first quarter. The gap grew to 25 points at the end of the second period, but Davis Coders converted an and-one play to make it 55-33 at the half.
Having maintained a steady lead throughout the third quarter, but Barons made an attempt to get back in the game at the start of the final period, with an 8-0 stretch, which had cut the deficit to 75-62.
However, Pieno Zvaigzdes had a ferocious response, scoring 23 unanswered points, cruising to a comfortable victory in front of their home fans.
Zygimantas Jonusas paced the winners with a game-high 19 points, Egidijus Dimsa scored 18 points, while Dovydas Redikas added 17 points and three assists.
For Barons, Ilmars Bergmanis had 12 points, Karlis Apsitis scored 11, while Jekabs Rozitis finished the game with 10 points.
JEKABPILS ‒ Jekabpils booked a spot in the BBL Playoffs with a 76-50 victory against Tyco Rapla on the road in Estonia on Thursday evening.
The win guaranteed that the Latvian side won’t drop below fifth in Group A standings after improving to a 5-5 record, while Rapla, now 3-8, is in a much more difficult situation.
There was never any doubt about who the stronger team was on the court, with Jekabpils breaking away to a 27-14 lead after the first quarter, with Rinalds Sirsnins pacing the visitors with three long-range bombs.
Although Rapla stopped the gap from growing in the second quarter, Jekabpils resumed their domination after the break, winning the third period 21-6 for a 61-34 advantage, as they cruised to an easy win.
Sirsnins led all scorers with 14 points and also dished out seven assists, while the American duo of Cameron Runders and Troy Barnies collected 12 points apiece for Jekabpils.
Rapla’s only double-figure scorer was Martin Paasoja, who collected 10 points, with Ziga Fifolt adding a respectable performance of nine points, six rebounds and three blocks.
VENTSPILS – Ventspils coasted to an easy victory at home and gifted themselves their ninth victory in eleven outings, as they handled Parnu 89-66 on Wednesday evening.
It was a one-sided affair from the get-go, as the home side ran off to a 15-2 lead in the opening three minutes. Although Parnu managed to cut the margin to nine, Ventspils responded with a 12-0 run and put the game to bed already in the first quarter. Before halftime, the Latvian side’s lead had already reached 27 points.
We saw much of the same in the third quarter, as the visitors faced a shameful 36 point deficit midway through the third quarter.
While it was all said and done already, Parnu showed some signs of life in the closing quarter. They got off to a 14-2 start, added a couple more three-pointers and were down by only 18. However, the Latvians finished off the quarter strong and celebrated a 23-point victory.
Harvey Grant led the way for Ventspils with 18 points and 8 rebounds. Martins Laksa contributed 13, while Janis Timma and Artjoms Butjankovs finished the game with 11 points.
Three players reached double-digits in scoring for Parnu, with Taavi Hamarsalu collecting a team-high 16 points. Elgar Tamsalu and Vladzimir Krysevych added 13 points each.
SIAULIAI – After a second quarter surge, Siauliai thrust past Liepaja/Triobet 94-75 and bagged their sixth straight victory to take the pole position in Group B on Wednesday evening.
The initial ten minutes of the game were as close as ever, as both teams traded bucket for bucket. A couple of Paul Hill’s three-pointers had the visitors breathing down their opponents’ necks after the first quarter, but an 11-3 run in the midst of the second allowed the home side to build up a double-digit lead.
The sight on the court saw little change in the second half, as the Lithuanian side kept enhancing their lead slowly, but steadily. The margin had reached 15 points in the final minutes of the third quarter before Liepaja converted on a series of free-throws.
Although the Latvian side did take steps towards erasing the deficit, all their efforts were rebuffed outright. Siauliai’s 9-0 run in the final minutes of the game was the final nail in the coffin, as the home team soared to a 19-point victory.
Derek Needham was the top scorer for Siauliai, as he collected 17 points. Travis Leslie scored 13 and collected 7 rebounds, while Darius Pakamanis contributed 11 points. Both Modestas Kumpys and Vytautas Sulskis ended the game with 10 apiece.
For the losing side, Paul Hill was the go-to man, as he hit four long-range shots and amassed 19 points. Kristaps Miglinieks had 12, while Renars Magone and Lauris Blaus cracked double-digits as well with 10 points each.
JEKABPILS ‒ BK Jekabpils forward Troy Barnies was named the Most Valuable Player of the month in the Baltic Basketball League (BBL) after putting up stellar performances throughout January.
The 24-year-old American has been enjoying a great season, while Jekabpils is a good position to make the BBL Playoffs, as they currently sit in fourth position in Group A with three crucial games remaining.
During the three games in January, Barnies averaged 19.7 points, 9.3 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.3 steals, while shooting a solid 52% from the field.
His best performance came in a huge 89-47 victory against Tyco Rapla on January 3rd, when the player recorded an impressive double-double of 19 points and 12 rebounds in 29 minutes of action.
The award will be presented to Barnies before the home game against the group leaders Pyrinto on February 12th at the Jekabpils Sporta Nams.
NORRKOPING ‒ Tallinna Kalev came close to causing a stir in Group A, but Norrkoping Dolphins erased a 15-point deficit to secure an 88-78 victory in overtime against the visitors from Estonia.
Following the win, Dolphins improved to an 8-3 record, while the Tallinn club dropped to 3-7 and are now tied for the fifth spot with Tarvas and Tyco Rapla.
Having finished the first period with a 21-18 advantage, Tallinna Kalev opened up an even bigger gap in the second quarter. The guests used a quick 9-0 run to pull away to a 39-24 lead.
With the third period coming to a close, Dolphins were still behind by nine points (49-58), but Jermont Horton knocked down a jumper to make it a seven-point game before the final quarter.
The hosts kept clawing at the deficit, before eventually not only tying the score (70-70) with 2:40 left in the game, but then jumping into a 74-70 lead after two big baskets by Edgars Jeromanovs and Jan Tomanec.
Reimo Tamm answered with two buckets of his own to force an extra period. But after an excellent start to the game, Tallinna Kalev ran out of steam in overtime, as Dolphins prevailed.
Jermont Horton and William Walker, who also had 11 rebounds, led all scorers with 17 points each, while Edgars Jeromanovs added 15 points and seven assists.
Tallinna Kalev’s trio of Kaido Saks, Reimo Tamm and Asenso Ampim scored 16 points apiece. Renato Lindmets added a double-double of 13 points and 12 boards.
SIAULIAI ‒ Siauliai got one step closer to sealing the pole position in Group B, as they registered an 80-71 home victory against one of the group frontrunners Nevezis on Thursday evening.
Nevezis set the tone for the first half by starting the game with a 13-3 stretch to jump ahead into a solid lead.
Having finished the first quarter with a 25-18 advantage, the visitors from Kedainiai increased it to a game-high 15-point margin in the beginning of the second quarter, as Siauliai turned one ball after another.
However, Travis Leslie knocked down a contested three-pointer and Darius Pakamanis added two more points the next trip up the court to start a huge 21-3 run, at the end of which the hosts already had a 39-36 lead.
Siauliai carried over the momentum into the second half as well, as the gap grew to 59-53 after the third quarter before sailing home with the win in the final period, in which they led by as many as 14 points.
Travis Leslie paced the hosts in scoring with a game-high 17 points, Derek Needham scored 16 points, while Julius Jucikas added 12, but didn’t finish the game due to foul trouble.
For Nevezis, Simas Buterlevicius collected 14 points, Arvydas Siksnius added 13 points and six boards, while no other player reached double figures.
The Baltic Basketball League (BBL) presents its weekly review that will provide fans with the opportunity to quickly overlook all the main events and spectacular performances that took place in the league.