KEDAINIAI ‒ In a battle of Group B leaders, Nevezis registered an impressive 75-57 victory against the visiting Ventspils to improve to an 8-1 record.
The Latvian side, now 6-2, had won the first meeting between the teams 68-60 and will have a negative point differential in case of a head-to-head situation.
Nevezis got off to a better start, taking a 12-4 lead following a bucket by Aurimas Adomaitis four minutes into the first quarter, but a 7-0 run by Ventspils quickly closed the gap.
Although the visitors from Latvia had shortly taken the upper hand in the second period, the hosts responded with a 15-3 stretch to jump into a double-digit advantage at 34-23.
Nevezis continued the strong play in the second half, extending the lead to a 21-point margin after a 9-0 spurt, with six points coming from Aurimas Adomaitis.
Having built a convincing 61-40 lead before the final period, the home side finished the game off with a solid fourth quarter, earning an important win against one of the main rivals in the group.
BBL leading scorer Arvydas Siksnius paced Nevezis with 16 points, also adding five assists, Aurimas Adomaitis added 14 points, while Valdas Dabkus finished the game with 11.
For Ventspils, point guard Lorenzo Williams was the only player in double digits with 12 points, Davis Lejasmeiers scored nine, as Toms Leimanis added seven.
UTENA ‒ TonyBet Prienai raced back from a double-digit lead in the fourth quarter to register an 83-82 victory against Juventus after Arturas Valeika made a game-winning basket with five seconds on the clock.
Following the victory, last year’s runners-up improved to 7-2 in Group C standings, while Juventus’ struggles continued, as their losing streak reached five games.
Juventus had the lead for the majority of the first half, but Prienai jumped in front 39-37 with a three-pointer by Mindaugas Lukauskis to close the second quarter.
However, the hosts took back the initiative into their hands in the second half, gaining a 59-50 edge after a 10-2 run in the third quarter.
With around five minutes left in the game, Juventus still had a 78-67 advantage, but Laimonas Kisielius dropped in a couple of three-pointers to spark an 8-0 run to bring Prienai back in the game.
With 1:16 left to play, Gintaras Kadziulis cut the gap to three points and then made it a one-point game in the next possession.
Juventus still had an 82-81 advantage and the possession of the ball with 29 seconds to play, but Aidas Viskontas turned the ball over. Prienai made sure to cash in, with Arturas Valeika making the game-winning basket with almost no time to spare.
Laimonas Kisielius had a game-high 23 points on 5-of-8 shooting from downtown, Gintaras Kadziulis scored 18 points, while Arturas Valeika chipped in with 14 points and eight rebounds for the winners.
For Juventus, Saulius Kulvietis had an excellent game, finishing the evening with 22 points and eight boards, Nikita Barinov collected 14 points, as Aidas Viskontas had 13 points.
PASVALYS ‒ Pieno Zvaigzdes remained the only unbeaten team in the BBL after halting TU/Rock’s 15-game winning streak with a 83-64 victory at home in Lithuania on Sunday evening.
The Pasvalys side is on top of Group C with a clean 8-0 record, while the Estonians are fourth, with four wins and four losses.
Playing without key big men Janar Talts and Joosep Toome, the visitors from Tartu managed to stay close for the first five minutes of the game, before Pieno Zvaigzdes broke away.
Egidijus Dimsa and Dovydas Redikas combined for nine points in a 12-0 run, which put the hosts ahead 24-9 already in the first quarter.
The margin had reached 23 points in the second period after a three-pointer by Ingus Bankevics, but Rock finished the half with seven points in a row to cut it to 33-49.
The guests carried over the momentum to the third quarter as well, scoring the first five points of the second half, shrinking the deficit to 11 points, but the charge was soon stopped.
Having started the final period with a 14-point advantage, Pieno Zvaigzdes kept up the confident play until the end of the game, as they cruised to a convincing win.
Egidijus Dimsa was the key player for the winners, collecting 19 points and eight rebounds against his former team, while Arturas Jomantas and Dovydas Redikas added 15 and 14 points respectively.
For Rock, Vincent Simpson had a team-high 17 points, while the Lithuanian duo of Augustas Peciukevicius and Vilmantas Dilys scored 11 points apiece.
JEKABPILS ‒ Jekabpils claimed an easy victory against the visiting Tyco Rapla, defeating the guests from Estonia 89-47 in Group A action on Friday night.
The Latvians improved to a 4-3 record, while Rapla’s losing streak was extended to four games, as they dropped to 1-7.
Jekabpils got ahead early, taking an eight-point lead after the first 10 minutes of play, before extending the advantage to 47-20 by the halftime break, with Rapla’s turnover tally at 20 after two quarters.
Although the Estonian side managed to solve the ball-handling issues in the second half, the gap was too big to even think about going back home with a win, as Jekabpils cruised to victory.
Troy Barnies paced the winners with 19 points and 12 rebounds, with Martins Kravcenko and Cameron Runders adding 16 points each for the Latvian team.
No players reached double figures for Rapla, with Slovenian big man Ziga Fifolt collected a team-high 9 points.
RAKVERE ‒ Dolphins came across an unexpected challenge in Rakvere, as Tarvas registered an 84-80 upset at home in Rakvere on Friday evening.
The Estonian club improved to 3-4 in Group A, while Dolphins suffered their third defeat to go along with six wins.
Dolphins began the fourth period with a 59-48 lead, but Tarvas made it a one-possession game within a couple of minutes, with a pair of three-pointers sparking a 9-0 run.
The visitors were up 65-63 after a lay-up by Edgars Jeromanovs with four minutes left in the game, but Tarvas responded with four points in a row to take a 67-65 edge.
After both sides exchanged unsuccessful attempts, Dolphins had 14 seconds for the last possession, with the last shot trusted to Kendrick Brown.
Although it fell short, veteran big man Joakim Kjellbom was there to collect the offensive rebound and made the second-chance opportunity count, forcing the game into overtime.
Tarvas got off to the worst possible start of the extra period, with Edgars Jeromanovs executing a four-point play after being fouled on the three-point shot.
However, it didn’t rattle the Estonians, who gained a 78-75 edge after a pair of three-pointers by Kristo Saage and Juris Umbrasko.
Saage went on to increase the lead to 83-76 from the free-throw stripe after Adnan Chuck’s foul was deemed unsportsmanlike, while Edgars Jermonovs earned a technical foul on top of that to decide the outcome of the game.
Giedrius Gustas and Juris Umbrasko led the winners with 19 points each, as Rait Keerles added a double-double of 14 points and 12 rebounds.
For the losing side, Edgars Jeromanovs had 19 points and nine boards, with Adnan Chuck and Joakim Kjellbom collecting 15 points apiece.
KEDAINIAI ‒ Nevezis won the first BBL game of the New Year, defeating Barsy 82-76 after a hard-fought battle in Kedainiai on Friday evening.
The Lithuanian club climbed to the top of Group B standings, improving to a 7-1 record, while Barsy dropped to 3-6.
Nevezis jumped ahead to a slight lead, finishing the first quarter with a 22-18 advantage, but the visitors from Kazakhstan kept close, not allowing the hosts to break away.
Valdas Dabkus had given a 37-29 edge just before the first half, but Barsy responded with three points at the other end to make it a five-point game after two quarters.
After an 8-0 run in the beginning of the third period, Brandon Callahan gave the guests a 44-42 advantage, but Nevezis slipped back in front before the start of the final period.
The lead changed hands a few times before the Lithuanians went on a 7-0 run to take an 80-72 advantage with a minute left in the game.
Valdas Dabkus paced the winners with 21 points and six rebounds, Arvydas Siksnius had 19 points and four assists, while Gintaras Leonavicius added 18 points.
For Barsy, Gytis Sirutavicius collected a team-high 17 points, while Mikhail Yevstigneev chipped in with 16 points.
NORRKOPING ‒ Joakim Kjellbom became the last monthly MVP of 2013, as the 34-year-old Swedish big man was chosen as the Most Valuable Player for the month of December.
The experienced veteran led Norrkoping Dolphins to three convincing wins, averaging team-highs of 16.7 points, 10 rebounds and 3.3 blocks in addition to shooting 62% from the field.
His best performance came in a 70-53 win against group leaders Tampere Pyrinto, when Kjellbom scored 18 points, grabbed 15 rebounds and swatted away four shots for a total ranking of 33.
The award will be presented to the player on January 10th in a home game against the visiting Valmiera club from Latvia.
SIAULIAI ‒ Vytas Sulskis paced Siauliai with 19 points, seven rebounds and six assists, as the Lithuanian team closed out the year with a 79-66 win against Barsy on Wednesday.
Following the win, Siauliai improved to a 6-1 record, while Barsy finished the year at 3-5.
The hosts got off to a quick start, taking a 19-8 lead after a pair of three-pointers from David McClure and Rokas Giedraitis.
Siauliai led by as many as 13 points, but Barsy managed to scale the deficit down to 31-38 by the halftime break.
A strong start to the second half, allowed the home side to pull away once again, as Siauliai increased the advantage to 52-33 after a 14-2 start to the third quarter.
Although Barsy had cut the gap to seven points in the fourth quarter at 57-64, Chris Cooper scored six points in a row for the hosts to seal the win.
Vytautas Sulskis was the top-scorer for the winners with 19 points, while Cooper finished the game with 17 points in 20 minutes of play.
For the guests, Mikhail Yevstigneev had a double-double of 21 points and 12 rebounds, Yevgeniy Issakov scored 13 points, as Frederick Zambalist added 12.
After a week with only two games played, the Baltic Basketball League (BBL) follows up with an action packed one. 18 games were played throughout the two week period and the BBL presents a conjunct review of all the main events and spectacular performances that took place.
LIEPAJA ‒ Ingus Jakovics made a free-throw with seven seconds left in the game to give Liepaja/Triobet the first win of the season, as the Latvian side registered a 77-76 victory against Barsy.
The team from Liepaja had lost five games in a row before earning their first win, while the loss puts the visitors from Kazakhstan at 3-4.
Barsy led by as many as 10 points in the first half, but a third-quarter comeback allowed Liepaja/Triobet to catch up and even take a 56-55 lead before the final period.
With three and a half minutes left in the game, Lauris Blaus had put the hosts up 70-63, but Barsy managed to make it a one-possession game after two free-throws by Edgaras Zelionis.
With 13 seconds left on the clock, Mikhail Yevstingneev tied things up at 76-76 with a jump shot, but Ingus Jakovics prevented an overtime by making one-of-two from the stripe on the other end after Donte Hill fouled him.
Ingus Jakovics had a team-high 18 points for Liepaja/Triobet, Renars Magone scored 17, as Lauris Blaus collected 16 points for the winners.
Barsy were led by Lithuanian big man Edgaras Zelionis, who had 20 points and eight rebounds in a losing effort, while his countryman Gytis Sirutavicius scored 18 points and grabbed six boards.