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.
PANEVEZYS – Lietkabelis gave the defending BBL champions Ventspils a real challenge at home in Panevezys, but the visitors from Latvia held on to take a 64-59 victory in the end.
Having improved to an 8-2 record, Ventspils caught up with current Group B leaders Nevezis, while Lietkabelis are still in the race for a playoff spot despite falling to 2-8.
Early in the fourth quarter, Ivan Nelyubov had put Lietkabelis ahead 55-54, but baskets by Lorenzo Williams and Janis Timma put Ventspils back in front.
Nelyubov had brought the hosts within one point (58-57), but Lietkabelis scored only two more points during the remaining four minutes, as Ventspils registered another win.
The visitors’ big man Harvey Grant was one rebound shy off a double-double, finishing the game with a team-high 14 points and nine rebounds, while Ronalds Zakis added 12 points and eight boards.
Goran Vrbanc paced Lietkabelis’ offense with 19 points, while Ivan Nelyubov scored 17 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in a losing effort.
PARNU – The tip-off time in the game between Parnu and Liepaja/Triobet has been pushed back and the match will begin at 17:00, which is an hour later than previously planned.
The game will be televised by the TV6 channel in Estonia, with the broadcast also beginning at 17:00.
The two other games of the day will begin as planned, as Lietkabelis welcome Ventspils in Panevezys at 16:00, while Valga Maks&Moorits play TU/Rock in Voru at 17:00.
NORRKOPING – Joakim Kjellbom and Kendrick Brown combined for 44 points, as Dolphins registered a 95-85 victory against Jekabpils at home in Sweden on Friday evening.
Having already booked a spot in the playoffs previously, the Norrkoping club cemented themselves in second place after improving to 7-3, while Jekabpils dropped to 4-5.
Although Dolphins led only by a single point after the first quarter, increasing the advantage to 49-46 at the halftime break after Jermont Horton finished the second quarter with a lay-up.
Jekabpils stayed close throughout the third period. Although Edgars Jeromanovs and Adnan Chuck scored five quick points as the quarter was approaching its end to pull away by seven points, Troy Barnies and Rinalds Sirsnins replied with a 5-0 run of their own to cut the deficit to 71-69.
Another three-pointer by Sirsnins had made it a one-point game in the final period at 75-74, but a 6-0 stretch by the Dolphins put some distance between the sides again, as the hosts pulled away late to take the win.
Joakim Kjellbom and Kendrick Brown had 22 points each for the home side, while Pierre Hampton added 16 points and seven boards.
For Jekabpils, Rinalds Sirsnins finished with a game-high 20 points and seven rebounds, Troy Barnies collected 17 points, as Martins Kravcenko chipped in with 14.
RAPLA – Tyco Rapla won their second game in a row in Group A, taking down the visiting Valmiera 71-68 on Friday evening to improve to a 3-7 record.
Having strung together a couple of victories, Rapla is making a late playoff push, while the visitors from Latvia dropped to a 5-5 mark.
Valmiera started the game better, taking a 19-12 lead after the first period. Led by scoring ace Janis Kaufmanis, who had 16 in the first two quarters, the guests increased that margin to 43-30 at the halfway point.
However, the script flipped completely in the second half, as Tyco Rapla started making a push in the third quarter. Following a 7-0 stretch to end the period, the hosts had managed to cut it to 55-56.
With four minutes left, Valmiera was still up 65-62, but Slovenian big man Ziga Fifolt knocked one down from deep, Martin Paasoja swished two free-throws and Fifolt added two more points from inside.
Despite falling behind 69-65, Valmiera stayed closed with Janis Kaufmanis making it a one-point game with three points in a row. However, Kaufmanis made a crucial turnover with five seconds on the clock, resulting with Sven Kaldre sealing the win for Rapla with a lay-up.
Ziga Fifolt led Tyco Rapla in scoring with 16 points, while Rait-Riivo Laane and Sven Kaldre finished the game with 11 points each.
Valmiera’s top-scorer was Janis Kaufmanis with 24 points and nine rebounds, and Ernests Kalve added 18 points, despite going 1-of-8 from three-point range.
UTENA ‒ Juventus booked a spot in the BBL Playoffs with a 94-73 win against Group C bottom-dwellers Valga Maks&Moorits, who have now lost all 10 games.
The victory allowed the Lithuanian to improve to a 4-6 record and move into the fifth spot, passing the 3-9 Barsy, whose fate now rests in the hands of other teams.
Seven minutes into the first quarter, Kristjan Evart had given Maks&Moorits a 16-15, lead but Juventus went on a 7-0 run to jump in front, going on to finish the period with a 27-20 advantage.
Having started the second quarter with a 17-4 stretch, the hosts maintained their offensive consistency, dropping a total of 27 points in this period as well, allowing only 15 themselves.
Although the visitors from Estonia had cut the deficit to a manageable 12-point margin after three quarters, Juventus shut down their hopes of a comeback with eight unanswered points in the final period.
Aidas Viskontas finished the game with 18 points and five assists, Keyron Sheard added 15 points and five dimes, while Saulius Kulvietis scored 14 points for the winners.
Miguel Ortega had a good all around performance for Maks&Moorits, with 22 points, six assists and five rebounds, Ferg Myrick had 19 points, while Viljar Veski chipped in with 14.