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.
PASVALYS – Having led for the majority of the game, Pieno Zvaigzdes extended the stellar start of the season with an 86-73 win against the visiting Juventus on Wednesday to improve to 6-0 in Group C, while the visitors from Utena dropped to 2-3.
Pieno Zvaigzdes started the game with two long-range bombs by Dovydas Redikas and Zygimantas Jonusas, but the visitors answered with a 7-0 run to take their only lead of the game at 7-6.
The hosts immediately recaptured the lead and finished the first quarter with an 18-13 and then carried over the lead to halftime as well, as they held a 38-34 edge.
Keyron Sheard’s lay-up had made it a one-possession game at 42-40 in the beginning of the third period, but Pieno Zvaigzdes countered with a 7-0 spurt to increase the gap to nine points after Dovydas Redikas converted an and-one opportunity.
After another solid stretch in the third quarter, which the hosts won 11-3, the gap reached double digits at 62-50 and Juventus could not get closer than seven points until the final buzzer.
Derrick Caracter had an impressive all-around performance, finishing the game with a game-high 22 points, eight rebounds and six assists for the winners. Dovydas Redikas also scored 22 points.
Karolis Petrukonis was the top-scorer for Juventus with 16 points, Nikita Barinov collected 13 points, with Keyron Sheard chipping in with 12.
SIAULIAI – Siauliai registered a 91-82 victory against Parnu at home in Lithuania on Tuesday to join the triumvirate of Group B leaders after improving to a 4-1 record.
The Lithuanian club shares the top spot in the group with other group frontrunners Ventspils and Nevezis, while the visitors from Estonia have only one game in three tries.
Siauliai established an upper hand very early in the game, taking a 17-10 lead six minutes into the opening quarter after a three-pointer by Rokas Giedraitis, who just recently came back from an injury.
Although Parnu came back to shortly take a 22-21 lead in the beginning of the second period, the home side finished the half up 45-36.
Rokas Giedraitis and Vytas Sulskis started the third quarter by scoring eleven points for Siauliai in the first three minutes of the second half, while Parnu players only answered with four points in the stretch.
Having started the final period with 69-51 deficit, the visitors from Parnu fought back to cut the gap to single digits, but it was too big of a difference to cover, as Siauliai ended up taking an easy win.
Julius Jucikas was the top scorer for the winners with 17 points, as Rokas Giedraitis, Vytas Sulskis and Judson Dillard all chipped in with 13 points each.
For Parnu, Janis Vahter collected a game-high 22 points and seven rebounds, with Heiko Rannula chipping in 17 points and five boards.
Highlights of the game:
TAMPERE – Benjamin Raymond and Antero Lehto combined for 40 points to lead Pyrinto to a 106-52 blowout victory against the visiting Valmiera in Group A action on Tuesday evening.
The Finnish club is only of two undefeated teams in the Baltic Basketball League (BBL) and sits atop the group standings with a 4-0 record, while Valmiera dropped to 2-3.
It was a relatively close opening quarter and although Pyrinto broke away to a 17-12 lead after the first ten minutes, the guests from Latvia seemed ready to give the home team a serious challenge.
However, this illusion was short-lived as the hosts finished the half with a massive 20-2 run, which increased Pyrinto’s lead to 47-23 at the halftime break.
Valmiera could not find any answers in the third and fourth quarters as well, as the Tampere club kept pulling away and registered an easy victory.
Pyrinto shot an amazing 59% from three-point range, while Valmiera converted only 35% of the field goal attempts.
Benjamin Raymond had a game-high 24 points and grabbed eight rebounds, Antero Lehto collected 16 points, while Kelvin Lewis scored 13 for the home side.
Valmiera’s only player in double digits was Janis Kaufmanis, who had 12 points, while three other players – Sandis Amolins, Kaspars Cipruss and Zintis Plivda – finished the game with 8 points each.
Highlights of the game:
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.