With only four games played over the last couple of weeks, the Baltic Basketball League (BBL) presents a review of all the main events and spectacular performances that took place in the last two weeks.
SHORTHANDED VICTORY. Despite the fact, that only seven Nevezis’ players saw court time, Siauliai weren’t able to keep their win streak alive, falling 91-85 in Kedainiai.
UNDEFEATED. Pyrinto pushed their record to 3-0 with a victory against the Norrkoping Dolphins. Pyrinto and Pieno zvaigzdes are now the only two teams yet to suffer defeat.
EFFICIENCY. Tonybet Prienai reached several records in their crushing 98-64 victory against Valga Maks&Moorits. The Lithuanian team shot lights out, converting on 81% of their 2-point field goals, thus setting a new season record in the BBL. Moreover, Prienai had the season’s highest efficiency – a mind-boggling 133 ranking points.
FOREIGN FORCES. Although Siauliai received a great output from their three foreigners, who scored 60 of the team’s 85 points, it was not enough to stick up to Nevezis.
Martynas Linkevicius became the MVP of the two week period. The forward scored 20 points with near-perfect accuracy and tore down 15 rebounds to bring another victory to Prienai. Linkevicius ended the game with 34 ranking points.
Siauliai’s Derek Needham scored 28 points, grabbed 6 rebounds and dished out 4 assists against Nevezis. It wasn’t enough to secure the victory, but this performance puts Derek in the second place of the top five.
Judson Dillard follows up his fellow teammate with 23 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists – a total of 26 ranking points.
Latvian forward Janis Timma contributed yet another impressive outing, helping his team to a victory against Lietkabelis. The 21-year-old scored 18 points and grabbed 9 rebounds.
Vidas Ginevičius finishes the top five with a 15-point performance. The 35-year-old point guard converted on five of seven three pointers, added 4 rebounds and made 4 steals.
TAMPERE – In an all-Scandinavian match-up in Group A, the Finnish side Pyrinto Tampere maintained an unbeaten record in the Baltic Basketball League (BBL) after taking a 78-65 victory against the visiting Norrkoping Dolphins on Tuesday evening.
The hosts improved to a 3-0 mark and are one of only two teams yet to suffer the taste of defeat this season, while Dolphins are in shared second position in the group standings with a 2-2 record, alongside three other teams.
Although Pyrinto got off to a quick start by scoring the first eight points of the game, the Swedish guests recovered in an instant and even finished the first quarter ahead 16-14.
The game stayed close until the fourth period, with the home side tying things up at 31-31 at the half before taking a three-point edge heading into the final 10 minutes of play.
Having started the quarter with a 52-49 lead, Pyrinto increased the lead to double digits after a 9-0 run, led by the 19-year-old prospect Topias Palmi, who scored five points in a row to set off the spurt.
With just over a minute remaining, Kelvin Lewis capped off another quick 5-0 stretch with a free-throw to extend the gap to a game-high 18 points, as the hosts registered their third victory in a row.
Pyrinto’s leading scorer Antero Lehto had 20 points and five assists, Kelvin Lewis collected 15 points, while Topias Palmi was efficient on the court, scoring 13 points in 16 minutes of action.
Pierre Hampton had a team-high 19 points for Dolphins, as Edgars Jeromanovs and Jan Tomanec finished with 12 and 10 points respectively.
LIEPAJA – Ventspils improved to a 4-1 mark in Group B after taking care of Liepaja/Triobet on the road and taking a 76-62 victory on Saturday afternoon.
While the win allowed the defending Baltic Basketball League (BBL) champions to shoot up in the standings, for the Liepaja club it was already the fifth defeat in as many games.
Ventspils took care of business early in the game, winning the first quarter by an astonishing 19-point advantage to take a 25-6 lead after the first ten minutes of play.
Although Liepaja/Triobet answered with a solid second quarter, cutting the deficit to single digits and got as close as four points in the third period (44-40), Ventspils sealed the deal win the fourth quarter, sailing to an easy win.
Janis Timma was the top-scorer of the game with 18 points and nine rebounds, while Ronalds Zakis added 12 points and 11 boards for the winners.
For Liepaja/Triobet, Ingus Jakovics had a team-high 15 points, with Artis Ate being the only other home team’s player in double digits with 13 points.
VILNIUS – Nevezis Kedainiai has been fined €500 for comments made about the Baltic Basketball League (BBL) referees, after the game against BK Ventspils on Saturday, November 2.
The club sent out a press release criticizing the performance of the referees in the aforementioned game.
Such negative public statements about officiating to mass media are in direct breach of Article 10.6 of the BBL Regulations for the 2013/14 season and are punishable by a fine up to €2000.
The BBL would like to prevent any future incidents by encouraging the BBL clubs to resolve any arising issues directly with the BBL administration, in accordance with the BBL Regulations.
KEDAINIAI – Despite being riddled by injuries, Nevezis handed the first loss of the season to Siauliai, outlasting the visitors 91-85 in a close game between two of the Group B front-runners on Tuesday evening.
The Kedainiai club bounced back from the loss to the last season’s champions Ventspils in the previous game to improve to a 4-1 record, while Siauliai suffered the first defeat after winning the first three games.
The visitors got off to a storming start and led throughout the first quarter after taking an early 8-0 lead behind a pair of three-pointers by Derek Needham and Vytas Sulskis.
Despite playing without Valdas Dabkus, who is out for a couple of weeks with an ankle injury, Nevezis bounced back in the second period, cutting the eight-point deficit they had to tie it at 42-42 at the half.
Siauliai had restored the advantage in the third quarter and led by as many as 10 points after another three-pointer by Derek Needham, who made it 66-56.
The visitors’ lead did not last long, as Nevezis replied with an 11-0 run and jumped back ahead by a single point at the start of the final period, following Vidas Ginevicius’ long-range shot.
Ginevicius added another pair of triples to make it 78-75, but every single time Siauliai’s point guard Derek Needham, who was almost unstoppable, had a response.
With just over a minute left and the score tied at 82-82, Simas Buterlevicius hit a very important three-pointer with the shot clock running down to go give Nevezis a slight lead heading into the final 60 seconds of the game.
Although Justin Dillard had cut the deficit to a 84-85, Tyrone Brazelton converted a lay-up on the other end and then adding a pair of free-throws after a successful defensive possession to put Nevezis out of reach.
Vilmantas Dilys led the winners with 24 points, Tyrone Brazelton was one assist shy from a double-double, finishing the game with 19 points and nine dimes, while Simas Buterlevicius added 16 points and nine rebounds.
The American duo of Derek Needham and Justin Dillard had a great game, but lacked contribution from other players. Needham collected 28 points, grabbed six rebounds and dished out four assists, while Dillard had 23 points, seven boards and four assists.
PRIENAI – The departure of the team’s leader Dainius Salenga did not stop TonyBet Prienai from taking a big 98-64 victory against the visiting Valga Maks&Moorits in Group C action on Tuesday evening.
Following the victory, the Prienai side cemented the second position in the group standings after improving to a 4-1 mark, while the visitors from Estonia dropped to 0-3.
There was little intrigue in the game from the very first quarter, as TonyBet took a double-digit lead at 21-10 and never looked back.
The home side had a 51-31 lead at the half and the margin only grew in the third and fourth quarters, before reaching a game-high 37 points in the end of the fourth quarter.
Martynas Linkevicius had a massive double-double of 20 points and 15 rebounds for TonyBet, Vaidas Cepukaitis scored 16 points and grabbed seven boards, while Gintaras Kadziulis did most of his damage from long-range, making four three-pointers for a total of 14 points.
Sasha Avalic was the top-scorer for the Estonian team with 18 points, Jonathan Dupree collected 16 points, as Kristjan Evart added 14.
After nearly two weeks of absence, the Baltic Basketball League (BBL) returned with a bang, as its participants dueled in 17 matches over the past week. The second edition of the BBL weekly review will provide fans with the opportunity to quickly overlook all the main events and spectacular performances that took place in the league.
Having enjoyed a spectacular month of October, Gintaras Leonavicius of Nevezis Kedainiai earned the first monthly Most Valuable Player honors in the new Baltic Basketball League (BBL) season.
The 30-year-old Lithuanian swingman helped his club win all three games during the month, while putting up great numbers on both ends of the court, averaging 17.3 points, 5.3 rebounds, 3 assists and 2.6 steals per game.
His most spectacular performance came on October 12th against Barsy Atyrau, when the player scored 18 points on 7-of-11 field goal attempts, grabbed seven boards, made five steals and dished out three assists for a total ranking of 27.
Leonavicius will be presented with the award on November 5th in Kedainiai before the game between Nevezis and the visiting Siauliai.
TAMPERE – Pyrinto registered their second victory in as many games after holding off a fourth-quarter comeback by Jekabpils to win 87-80 on Sunday evening.
The Finnish team improved to a 2-0 record in Group A, while Jekabpils joined three other teams with a 2-2 record in the group.
The game was point-for-point in the early going, but Pyrinto went on an 11-2 run to break away to 19-12 lead seven minutes into the game.
However, Jekabpils cut the deficit to three points by the end of the period before catching up and even taking a slight edge at 38-37, as teams went to the locker rooms for the halftime break.
Pyrinto did not allow the visitors from Latvia to enjoy the advantage for long and after a 12-0 run in the third quarter and jumped ahead to a 63-50 lead.
Having scored 31 points in the period, the hosts entered the final ten minutes of play with a 14-point advantage, after Yannick Anzuluni made a basket at the buzzer, marking the end of the third quarter.
With just over three minutes remaining, Jekabpils had cut the deficit to just three points after Troy Barnies’ jump shot to make it 73-76, but Pyrinto replied with an 8-0 spurt.
Although the visitors had closed the gap to 80-84, Pyrinto sealed the win with precision from the free-throw line, making 3-of-4 down the stretch.
Damon Williams ad a game-high 21 points for the Finnish side, while Antero Lehto, Kelvin Lewis and Yannick Anzuluni all chipped in with 14 points each.
Rinalds Sisnins was the top-scorer for Jekabpils with 20 points and six assists, as Pavels Veselovs added a double-double of 17 points and 11 rebounds.
VENTSPILS – After suffering the first loss of the season in the previous game, last season’s strongest Baltic Basketball League (BBL) team Ventspils released the anger on the previously undefeated Nevezis, taking a 68-60 victory on Saturday.
Both teams now share the second position in Group B with a 3-1 record, as Siauliai (3-0) remain as the only undefeated team in the group.
Ventspils started the game with purpose and intent, getting off to a storming 12-2 start before increasing the lead to 12 points after a basket by Maris Gulbis.
Having finished the first quarter with an eight-point deficit, Nevezis had got as close as four points in the second quarter, but Ventspils pulled ahead after finishing the period on a 5-0 run to increase the gap to 42-29.
After a three-pointer by Lorenzo Williams four minutes into the second half, the home side increased the lead to a game-high 16 points at 51-35.
However, Nevezis wasn’t ready to give up this easy and won a seven-minute stretch 19-3 to tie the game at 54-54 after Tyrone Brazelton’s long-range bomb.
Ventspils answered with a 10-0 run to restore a double-digit advantage and, this time, did not waste the lead, cruising home with the win.
Janis Timma had a great game for the hosts, making 5-of-6 three-pointers and finishing with 17 points and 13 rebounds, while Ronalds Zakis and Lorenzo Williams chipped in with 16 and 15 respectively.
Vilmantas Dilys was Nevezis’ top scorer with 15 points and five rebounds, Simas Buterlevicius added 12 points and seven boards, while Tyrone Brazelton also had 12.