RIGA – Barons improved to a 3-3 record, after taking an easy 86-71 victory against Juventus in Group C action on Saturday.
The Latvian is tied for third place in the group standings with TU/Rock, who also have three wins, while Juventus dropped to 2-4.
A minute of silence was observed before the tip-off to honor the victims of the tragic events in Riga.
After a close first quarter, Barons had a 15-13 lead after the first quarter, but the breakthrough came in the second period, when the hosts pulled away to a 38-21 halftime advantage.
Juventus weren’t able to cut into the deficit in the third quarter, with Barons maintaining the 17-point advantage after 30 minutes of play.
After a pair of free-throws by Edgaras Stanionis, the visitors got within 56-64, but it was as closed as Juventus would make the game, with the hosts sealing the win with solid play.
Ilmars Bermanis had a team-high 19 points and dished out six assists for Barons, Agnis Cavars scored 16 points, while Roberts Mednis collected 15.
For Juventus, Averon Matthews was the top-scorer with 20 points and 13 rebounds, Edgaras Stanionis collected 17 points, with Keyron Sheard chipping in with 16.
VALGA – TonyBet bounced back after an overtime loss in Tartu, with an 80-53 victory against Valga Maks&Moorits on Saturday.
Following the win, Prienai are in a clear second place in Group C with a 5-2 record, with the team from Valga dropping to 0-5.
Maks&Moorits had a solid start of the game and took a 16-9 lead after a pair of three-pointers Jonathan Dupre and Sasha Avalic.
Although the home team finished the first quarter with an 18-17 lead, it did not last long. Gintaras Kadziulis instigated a 15-0 run, after which the visitors took a 32-18 advantage.
Edi Sinanovic had trimmed the gap to six points after a quick 8-0 spurt by Valga, but Prienai had a response and restored a double-digit advantage before the final period, in which they sealed the deal.
Prienai’s captain Gintaras Kadziulis had a game-high 22 points, while Mindaugas Lukauskis collected 21 points. Laimonas Kisielius added 12 points and seven rebounds.
For the hosts, Jurijs Aleksejevs was the top-scorer with 14 points, with Edi Sinanovic scoring 13 points.
RAPLA – Pyrinto’s dream start of the season continued, as the Finnish side extended their winning streak to six games, defeating Tyco Rapla 81-65.
The team from Tampere still hasn’t lost a single game, while Rapla, now 1-4, are quickly falling behind in Group A.
Like usually, Pyrinto started the game strong and went on a 10-0 run after allowing the host’s leader Martin Dorbek to open the scoring with a couple of free-throws.
The visitors had a 19-10 lead after the first quarter and extended the gap to double-digits by the halftime break, with a triple by Antero Lehto and a free-throw by Osku Heinonen to make it 37-26.
However, Rapla won a 9-0 stretch in the third quarter to cut the deficit to a single point, with the scoreboard showing 47-48 after H Ruut’s lay-up.
Pyrinto started the final period with a 57-55 lead, but Andre Parn quickly tied things up at 57-57. At this point, the guests went on a 20-0 run to decide the outcome of the game.
Kelvin Lewis and Benjamin Raymond had 16 points each for the winners, with Damon Williams and Petri Heinonen collecting 13 points apiece.
For Rapla, Martin Paasoja had a team-high 16 points, Ziga Fifolt scored 11 points and Andre Parn added 10 points and six rebounds.
RAKVERE – Pyrinto put on an impressive offensive display, tearing apart Tarvas 117-81 to in a Group A game in Estonia on Friday night.
The Finnish club improved to a 5-0 record, with Tarvas losing for the third time in five games.
Tarvas opened the scoring with a three-pointer by Mihkel Kurg, but it was the one and only time the hosts were ahead the entire game. Pyrinto quickly gained the lead and never gave it away.
Four minutes into the first quarter, the visitors from Tampere were up only 11-8, but Benjamin Raymond instigated a 21-0 run to increase the gap to 32-10 by the end of the period.
Pyrinto continued to fire on all cylinders offensively, while Tarvas could not find a solution to its defensive woes, with the distance between the sides growing to 65-33 at the halftime break.
Although the hosts scored nine more points than they averaged in four previous games, Pyrinto’s offensive dominance did not give the hosts even the slightest glimmer of hope.
The Finnish team remains the highest-scoring team in the BBL after putting up a season-high 117 points to improve to 92.6 points per game this season.
Pyrinto’s Kelvin Lewis led the game in scoring with 22 points, Benjamin Raymond collected 21 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, while Yannick Anzuluni finished the game with 16 points and eight boards.
For Tarvas, Kristo Saage collected a team-high 18 points, with Juris Umbrasko chipping in with 16 points and five rebounds.
PARNU – Ventspils registered its fifth BBL victory of the season on Friday evening, taking an 81-51 victory against Parnu on the road in Estonia.
The Latvians now tied with Siauliai at 5-1 for the first spot in Group B, while Parnu lost for the third time in four games.
Ventspils started the game strong and jumped ahead by double digits already after four minutes of play, taking an 18-8 lead.
Led by a well-rounded team effort, the guests had a 14-point advantage at the end of the first quarter, which they managed to increase to 49-27 at the halftime break.
Having established a 20-point lead, the visitors from Ventspils did not allow Parnu to get closer in the second half, with their lead reaching a game-high 30 points with a bucket by Davis Lejasmeiers.
Maris Gulbis led the guets in scoring with 14 points and also grabbed six rebounds and dished out four assists. The only other Ventspils player in double digits was Ronalds Zakis with 10 points.
Parnu’s top scorers were Nemanja Miljkovic and Taavi Hamarsalu with 14 points each, while three players finished with seven points each.
TARTU – TU/Rock celebrated an overtime victory on Friday, taking an 81-79 victory against TonyBet, who came to Estonia with only eight players.
It was the third win in six games for the Tartu club, while the team from Prienai dropped to 4-2 in Group C.
Eight minutes into the first quarter, the visitors from Lithuania had a 14-10 lead, but Augustas Peciukevicius finished the period with a personal show, as the Tartu club shot ahead with a 7-0 run.
Rock’s point guard from Lithuania drained a three-pointer, assisted Vincent Simpson on the break after a steal and then scored a last-second lay-up to finish the quarter to give the hosts a 17-14 edge.
However, Prienai regained the lead with a strong start of the second quarter, winning the six-minute stretch 18-2 to gain a 32-19 advantage, with Gert Dorbek ending the run with a three-pointer.
Having cut the gap 31-38 with a quick 5-0 to end the half, Rock fell back by double digits again in the third quarter, trailing Prienai 45-58 before the final period.
The Lithuanian team led by as many as 18 points in the fourth quarter, but the Tartu club went on a huge 23-3 run to jump ahead 71-69 with under a minute remaining.
However, Gintaras Kadziulis drove to the basket and scored a lay-up with three seconds left to send the game into overtime.
Rock gained an early four-point advantage in the extra period, but a couple of big three-pointers by Mindaugas Lukauskis kept Prienai in the game, tying the game at 79-79 with 23 seconds remaining.
However, Janar Talts had the last say in the game, slamming down a powerful dunk after a perfectly executed pick-and-roll with Augustas Peciukevicius to score the game-winning basket with four seconds on the clock.
Talts finished the game with 16 points, six rebounds and five assists, while Peciukevicius had 15 points, seven rebounds and six assists. Tanel Kurbas finished the game with 16 points and eight boards.
For Prienai, the team’s newcomer Mindaugas Lukauskis had 22 points, Gintaras Kadziulis scored 16, with Arturas Valeika chipping in with 12 points and nine rebounds.
The Baltic Basketball League will hold a minute of silence before Friday’s and Saturday's games for the victims of the tragic events in Riga, which took away the lives of at least 40 people after a store’s roof collapsed in the Latvian capital.
The teams and the administration of the league join the people of Latvia in mourning those lost and affected by the tragedy.
In the wake of the disaster, the BBL would like to wish the Latvian people strength and unity as they deal with the aftermath of the terrible events in Riga.
RAPLA – Tyco Rapla registered its first win of the season, defeating Tallinna Kalev 76-70 in a Group A battle between two Estonian teams on Thursday evening.
Following the win, the Rapla club improved to a 1-3 record, while the visitors from Tallinn dropped to 2-3, but are still second in the group standings.
Tallinn Kalev had won the previous meeting between the sides 88-86, which means that Rapla will have a head-to-head advantage in case they finish the regular season with an even record.
Halfway through the game, the visitors had a 41-28 lead, but a terrific second half performance allowed Rapla to come out victorious.
Martin Dorbek and Sven Kaldre had 16 points each for the winners, while Andre Parn and Rait-Riivo Lanne chipped in with 11 and 10 respectively.
For Tallinn Kalev, Kaido Saks had 15 points, George Hart scored 12 points and grabbed nine boards, with Julian Allen adding 10 points.
SIAULIAI – Siauliai finished off the back-to-back with yet another victory, defeating Lietkabelis 93-80 after a great third quarter performance on Wednesday evening.
The win allowed one of Group B front-runners to improve to a 5-1 record, while Lietkabelis cannot seem to end a horrific start of the season, dropping to a 1-5 mark.
After a great start of the game, the visitors from Panevezys broke away early and finished the first quarter with a 26-17 advantage.
The gap reached a game-high 15 points in the second period after Gediminas Zalalis converted one of two free-throws from the stripe to give the guests a 37-22 lead.
However, Siauliai woke up just in time and started a comeback straightaway, getting within a single point at 42-41 after a 19-5 run.
Ryan Olander finished the half with five consecutive points to increase Lietkabelis’ lead to 47-41 after two quarters, but all things considered it could have been much worse for the home side.
Siauliai continued their positive second quarter performance after the break, with Vytas Sulskis scoring 10 points in a row to give the hosts a 53-52 edge.
The home team went on to add another 11-3 run on top of the previous stretch to extend the advantage to nine points, before ending the third quarter with a 69-62 lead.
The fourth quarter also belonged to Siauliai, who gained a double-digit advantage midway through the final period and never looked back to claim another win.
Vytas Sulskis scored 22 points for the winners after going 4-of-5 from beyond the arc, Derek Needham scored 21 points, while Rokas Giedraitis finished the evening with 15 points.
For Lietkabelis, Ryan Olander was the top-scorer with 19 points and six rebounds, Parrish Brown added 18 points and five assists, with newcomer Vaidas Kariniauskas, who is on loan from Zalgiris Kaunas, collecting six points and six assists.
Highlights of the game:
RIGA – Bench players scored more than half of the points for Barons kvartals, as the Latvian side registered a 70-54 win against the visiting Valga Maks&Moorits in Group C action on Wednesday evening.
The home side jumped to a shared-third position in the group after improving to a 2-3 record, while the Estonian club lost for the fourth time in as many games.
Barons led throughout the first quarter, but the guests had shortly jumped out ahead taking a 22-19 advantage. However, it was the last time Maks&Moorits saw the lead.
The Latvian side finished the half with a 14-0 run, keeping the visitors scoreless in the last six minutes of the first half.
Having finished the second quarter with a 33-22 advantage, Barons allowed the team from Valga to get within four points (34-30), but responded with an 8-1 run to go back into a double-digit lead.
The gap between the teams roamed around the 8-point mark for the rest of the third quarter, but the hosts finished off the visitors by keeping them scoreless in the first four minutes of the final period.
Ilmars Bergmanis had a game-high 19 points for Barons, Karlis Apsitis added 14 points, while Agnis Cavars collected eight points and 12 rebounds.
For Maks&Moorits, Latvian forward Jurijs Aleksejevs scored 16 points, with Sasha Avalic and Kristjan Evart adding 11 and 10 points respectively.