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.
TAMPERE – Pyrinto didn’t look even slightly rusty after not playing a game in the BBL for over a month, as the Finnish club ripped apart the visiting Tarvas, taking a 112-74 victory on Sunday.
The team from Tampere, now 9-1, are on track for the number one spot in Group A, while the Estonian side didn’t do themselves any favors in the playoff race by dropping to 3-7.
Pyrinto blew the roof off the gym with explosive offense already in the first quarter, amassing 36 points in the opening period. Kelvin Lewis set the scoring machine in motion with three triples early on, giving the hosts a 9-2 lead.
Tampere was up 24-17 with a couple of minutes left in the first quarter, when Alex Vaenerberg scored eight points in quick succession, as Pyrinto finished the period with a 12-1 stretch to increase the gap to 36-18.
Rait Keerles, who had 16 points and nine rebounds in the first half, tried his best to keep Tarvas in the game, as the guests managed to cut the deficit to 56-42 at the halftime break.
In the second half, Maris Laksa took over the scoring load from Keerles, but it didn’t change much for Rakvere, as Pyrinto stayed up by double digits, increasing the gap to 84-66 before the final period.
Antero Lehto and Benjamin Raymond scored 21 each for Pyrinto, with the latter also grabbing 14 rebounds, while Kelvin Lewis finished the game with 17 points.
The duet of Maris Laksa and Rait Keerles, who also had 13 boards, scored 21 and 20 points respectively, with Juris Umbrasko adding 10.
PARNU – Liepaja/Triobet improved to 4-6 record and inched closer to booking a playoff spot after taking a 75-59 victory against Parnu on the road in Estonia.
It was the second victory in a row for the Latvian side, who had defeated Group B leaders Nevezis a couple of days ago, while the hosts lost any hopes of progressing.
Halfway through the second period, Parnu were behind only by three points as Nemanja Miljkovic’s lay-up had cut the deficit to 27-24, but the team from Liepaja jumped ahead by double digits following a 7-0 stretch.
Having finished the first half with a 39-27 lead, Liepaja/Triobet increased the gap to a 20-point margin at 54-34 with a couple of minutes remaining in the third quarter, with the remaining time just a formality.
Paul Hill led the Latvian side in scoring with 17 points, while Kristaps Miglinieks and Artis Ate chipped in with 13 points apiece, with the latter also grabbing eight rebounds.
For Parnu, Toomas Raadik had 17 points and six boards, Heiko Rrannula scored 12 points, while Zivojin Grubovic added 10 points and five rebounds.
VORU – A different home venue didn’t help Maks&Moorits to change the fortunes of the club in the BBL, as TU/Rock defeated the Valga side 87-57 in a game played in Voru on Saturday.
For Maks&Moorits it was the eleventh consecutive defeat in a row, while Tartu clinched the third spot in Group C, improving to a 7-4 mark.
Led by Valmo Kriisa, who scored 11 points in the opening quarter, TU/Rock broke away early, taking a 25-8 lead already after 10 minutes of play.
The game became a blowout even before reaching the halftime break, as the visitors from Tartu demonstrated exceptional defense, allowing Maks&Moorits to score only 18 points in the first half.
Although the game did level out in the third period, a 28-point halftime lead (46-18) was never in question, as TU/Rock cruised to an easy win.
39-year-old Valmo Kriisa had a game-high 19 points and five assists for Tartu, Vincent Simpson scored 15 points and dished out five dimes, while Joosep Toome added 11 points.
Kristjan Evart was the only Maks&Moorits player in double digits, finishing the game with a team-best 16 points, as Viljar Veski and Ferg Myrick added eight apiece.