VENTSPILS – The defending BBL champions Ventspils extended their winning streak to four games with a 96-66 victory against Barsy at home on Friday.
The Latvian team improved to a 6-1 record in Group B, with the visitors from Kazakhstan dropping to 3-3.
It did not take long for Ventspils to establish a sizable advantage, as the hosts were already up 12-3 four minutes into the first quarter.
Having finished the period with a 12-0 run, the club from the Latvian seaside ran away to a 16-point advantage after the first ten minutes of play.
Barsy had managed to stop the bleeding in the second quarter with a rather even second quarter, but the scoreboard still showed 45-30 in favor of the hosts at the halftime break.
Led by Janis Timma, who was presented with the BBL November MVP award before the game, Ventspils won the third quarter 27-17 and increased the gap to 25 points before the final period to decide the outcome of the game.
Timma finished the game with a team-high 14 points, nine rebounds and four assists, Akselis Vairogs also collected 14 points, while Ronalds Zakis chipped in with 12 points and seven boards.
Lithuanian swingman Gytis Sirutavicius had 15 points for the visitors from Kazakhstan, as Dmitry Gavrilov collected 12 points and grabbed nine rebounds.
VALGA – Maks&Moorits suffered the seventh consecutive loss in the BBL, losing 73-66 to the visiting Barons kvartals in Group C on Thursday.
The Latvians improved to a 4-3 record in the group, while the Valga club has lost all seven matches so far.
After a close opening quarter, Barons changed the course of the game in the second period, turning a two-point deficit into a 38-31 lead at halftime.
Over the course of the third quarter, the visitors extended the lead to double digits and two three-pointers at the end of the period by Agnis Cavars and Andris Epners allowed the guests to pull away 58-41.
Although Maks&Moorits won the final ten minutes of play 25-15, it was too late to fight for the first win.
Jekabs Rozitis led the winners with 15 points and 11 rebounds, while Harijs Rubenis and Davis Zonne chipped in with 10 points apiece.
For Maks&Moorits, Edi Sinanovic had a game-high 21 point, grabbed eight rebounds and dished out three assists, while Jurijs Aleksejevs chipped in with 16 points.
PRIENAI – TonyBet improved to a 6-2 record following a 91-60 victory at home against the visiting Caspiy team from Kazakhstan on Tuesday evening in Group C action.
The Lithuanian side had won the first meeting by 57 points, so a 31-point loss this time round marks a significant improvement for Caspiy.
Halfway through the first quarter, the guests had jumped ahead to a 14-11 advantage, but it was the last time the visitors held the lead, as TonyBet responded with a 15-1 run to end the period up by double digits.
The gap quickly reached the 20-point mark, despite the fact that the Prienai side had a terrible shooting night from beyond the arc, making only two long-range attempts.
However, the Lithuanian team compensated the lack of touch from the three-point line with solid play inside, making 74% of two-point attempts, led by Arturas Valeika, who shot a perfect 11-of-11 from the field.
Valeika finished the game with a game-high 23 points, while Vaidas Cepukaitis and Mindaugas Lukauskis collected 16 points each, with the latter also adding seven assists.
Kris Richard led Caspiy with 14 points, Vadym Matyukevych scored 11 points, with Sergey Kazantsev chipping in with 10 points for the losing side.
UTENA – Juventus came close to handing Pieno Zvaigzdes the first loss of the season, but the visitors from Pasvalys held on to take a 66-64 win against their Group C rivals.
It was the seventh consecutive win for Pieno Zvaigzdes, while the team from Utena dropped to a 2-4 record.
It was a close game right from the start and -- throughout the entire 40 minutes – neither team led by more than nine points.
Although Pieno Zvaigzdes was in front for the majority of the time, Juventus showed their teeth late in the game, clawing back from a 62-55 deficit for a nail-biting finish.
The hosts were within a single point with a minute left in the game, but Aidas Viskontas could not take advantage of a couple decent opportunities.
With 18 seconds remaining, Juventus sent Aliaksandr Kudrautsau to the free-throw line and the Belarussian guard converted only one-of-two from the stripe, giving Juventus hope.
Nikita Barinov’s post-up resulted in a foul, but the athletic forward could not seize the opportunity to tie the game, missing his second foul shot.
Juventus had no other option but to foul Evaldas Kairys, who grabbed the rebound. Fortunately for the home side, the big man also missed one shot, but the half-court heave by the hosts fell short.
Egidijus Dimsa had a game-high 12 points for Pieno Zvaigzdes, while the newcomer from Belarus Aliaksandr Kudrautsau added 10 points, with no other players reaching double digits.
For Juventus, Saulius Kulvietis and Aidas Viskontas scored 11 points apiece, while Gintautas Matulis collected 10 points.
TALLINN – Pyrinto got back to winning ways with a 95-69 victory against Tallinna Kalev on the road in the Estonian capital on Wednesday.
The Finnish team is the clear leader of Group A with a 7-1 record, while the Estonians have won only twice in seven games.
Tallinna Kalev got off to a somewhat promising start, taking 9-7 lead after a three-pointer by Illimar Pilk, but it was the last time the hosts had the edge, with Pyrinto jumping ahead, with a 12-2 run.
Having finished the first quarter with a 29-15 advantage, the visitors from Tampere extended the lead to 26 points at the halftime break, shooting the lights out from downtown.
Not much changed in the second half, with Pyrinto dominating against their Estonian rivals and grabbing a game-high 32-point lead after a basket by Damon Williams to make it 66-34.
Osku Heinonen led Pyrinto with 21 points, Antero Lehto collected 17 points and dished out four assists, while Kelvin Lewis chipped in with 12 points.
RAPLA – Norrkoping Dolphins extended their winning streak to three games after taking a relatively easy 77-64 victory against Tyco Rapla on the road in Estonia on Tuesday.
After a pair of early three-pointers by Pierre Hampton and Kendrick Brown, the visitors from Sweden took a 14-6 lead, looking to break away right from the get-go in the first quarter.
However, Rapla finished the quarter strong and trimmed the deficit to two points, as Andre Parnu swished in two free-throws to make it 22-24.
Dolphins shot ahead in the third quarter once again, breaking away from a 25-25 deadlock with an 8-0 run before pushing the advantage to double digits with another solid 7-1 stretch.
The visitors started the third period with a 45-33 lead, but it grew to a game-high 19 points in the third period after a made shot by William Walker.
Although Martin Dorbek had cut the deficit to single digits midway after scoring a lay-up midway through the final period, 56-65 was as close as Rapla would end up getting.
Edgaras Jeromanovs collected a game-high 17 points for the guests, William Walker scored 14 points, while Joakim Kjellbom chipped in with 11 points.
Rapla was led by Sven Kaldre, who had 12 points and five rebounds, as the young duo of Martin Dorbek and Rait-Riivo Laane added 11 points apiece.
PARNU – A strong third quarter allowed Barsy to improve to a 3-2 mark, as the visitors from Kazakhstan registered a 69-67 victory against Parnu on Tuesday in Group B.
The teams were all even after the first quarter, with the scoreboard showing 18-18 after the first ten minutes of play, but the hosts broke away in the second quarter.
Parnu jumped ahead to a 35-29 halftime lead after winning a 7-0 run to close out the second quarter after Nemanja Miljkovic made a basket with a couple of seconds left in the half.
However, Barsy responded with a run of their own in the third period, winning an 8-0 stretch to turn a six-point deficit into a 45-43 lead halfway through the quarter.
Although the visitors started the final period with a two-point lead, Parnu bounced back and took an upper hand at 58-53 after a bucket by Janis Vahter with five minutes remaining.
The teams were still even with a minute left in the game, but Gytis Sirutavicius scored two points to give Barsy a 63-61 lead, but Zivojin Grubovic responded with a long-range shot.
The lead changed hands a few more times, before Janis Vahter went one-of-two from the free-throw line to knot things up at 67-67 with eight seconds remaining.
However, in the last possession Mikhail Yevstigneev managed to find Lithuanian big man Edgaras Zelionis, who drained the game-winning shot with only a second to spare.
Zelionis was the only Barsy player in double digits with a game-high 25 points and added eight rebounds to his total, with fellow Lithuanian Gytis Sirutavicius adding nine points.
21 points and seven boards from Janis Vahter fell short of bringing the home side the win, as Nemanja Miljkovic added 14 points for Parnu.
VALGA – Caspiy earned their second win of the season, as they defeated the winless Valga Maks&Moorits 79-70 in Group C action on Tuesday night.
While the Kazakh club improved to 2-4, the Estonians lost their sixth consecutive game.
The lead went back and forth between the two teams in the first half, but Caspiy managed to take a 39-37 lead into the halftime after a basket by Zhanysh Erns Uulu late in the second quarter.
With two and a half minutes left in the third quarter, Valga had a 53-52 lead, but the guests finished the period with 6-0 run to regain the lead and enter the final quarter ahead 58-53.
Caspiy broke away for good in the fourth period, taking a 72-58 lead with 2:57 left on the clock, as David Nesbitt capped off an 11-0 run with a three-pointer.
Nesbitt was the team’s top-scorer with 15 points and 11 rebounds, while Zhanysh Erns Uulu and Valery Gandlin collected 14 points apiece.
For Valga, Edi Sinanovic had a game-high 24 points, as Jurijs Aleksejevs and Viljar Veski scored 14 points, with no other player reaching double digits for the home side.
VALMIERA – Valmiera won all four quarters in an easy 95-67 victory against the visiting Jekabpils in a Group A clash between two Latvian teams on Tuesday evening.
The winners improved to a 3-3 record, with Jekabpils dropping to 2-3.
A basket by Raimonds Gabrans had increased the gap to 18-11 already in the first quarter, as the home side was not ready to fool around and took the initiative right from the get-go.
After a quick 6-0 run in the second quarter, Valmiera’s lead reached double digits at 39-28, following a jumper by Kaspars Cipruss, but Jekabpils managed to scale it down to seven points at the half.
The real breaking point happened in the third quarter, which the hosts won 24-14, as the hosts ran away to a 17-point lead before the start of the final period, cruising home with the win in the fourth quarter.
Valmiera’s high-flying forward Kristaps Dargais had his best game of the season, finishing the game with 25 points and seven rebounds, while Raimonds Gabrans added 14 points and six assists.
For the losing side, Troy Barnies had a team-high 18 points, Janis Poznaks collected 14, while Cameron Runders finished the game with 12 points.
TALLINN – Norrkoping Dolphins improved to a 4-2 record in Group A after taking a 77-62 victory against Tallinn Kalev on the road in Estonia on Monday evening, with the hosts dropping to 2-4.
The visitors from Sweden led 22-18 after the first quarter, but Tallinn Kalev switched roles in the second period, going on an 11-0 run to turn a six-point deficit into a 39-34 lead.
Having finished the half with a 44-40 advantage, the home side led until the 3:06 mark in the third period, as Joakim Kjellbom sent the visitors back in front and
Dolphins finished the quarter successfully and entered into the final period already with an eight-point advantage at 61-53. It did not take long for the lead to reach double digits in the fourth quarter, as the Swedish club ended up taking a convincing victory.
Joakim Kjellbom had a team-high 21 points and 10 rebounds for Dolphins, William Walker scored 17 points and added 11 boards, while Kendrick Brown finished with 15 points.
The hosts were led by Kaido Saks, who was the top-scorer of the game with 23 points, as Reimo Tamm was the only other Tallinn Kalev played in double digits with 18 points.