RAKVERE – Tarvas/Palmse Metall collected the victory that was expected of them, as they defeated the only team in the league without a victory, Borisfen, 75-59. The Estonians managed to secure a win and improve to 3-8.
The lead soon rose to double-digits, but it was still not that far out of hand for the Belorussians. Nevertheless, after the break the margin spiralled out of control, as Tarvas/Palmse Metall managed to improve it to 20. Borisfen made a couple of baskets to reduce it before the final period, but it was all too little too late.
There wasn‘t much Borisfen could do with time running out, as Tarvas coasted to a victory. 40 minutes ahead and a comfortable win for Tarvas/Palmse Metall.
The victors were led by 23 points from Tonis Peil. Oliver Metsalu added 14 points, 6 assists and 5 rebounds in a well-rounded performance, while Sten Saaremael ended up with 11. Justin Baker finished the game with a solid all-around game too, as he had 10 points, 8 rebounds and 6 assits.
For Borisfen, Artsiom Malkou was the leading scorer with 15 points, as he got 3-of-3 out from downtown. Aliaksandr Kharkevich added 14 points to the tally, while Vytautas Kamarunas chipped in with 11.
Plenty of basketball to go around for everyone, as we got to see seven games this week. We had more than our fair share of high-pace offenses and spectacular individual performances, so let‘s round it all up in the thirteenth volume of the Triobet BBL Weekly Review.
MVP. Mihkel Kirves has been phenomenal in the first weeks of 2017. The 20-year-old has quadrupled his scoring and doubled his rebounding averages this year and was recently named the Triober BBL Player of the Week after putting up 28 points and 13 rebounds in Parnu‘s win against Liepaja/Triobet.
TRIPLE DIGITS. It was a good week for run-and-gun basketball, as three of the seven games ended with a team scoring over 100 points. Nevezis defeated Barsy by 30 after scoring 103 points, while Pieno Zvaigzdes hit the triple digit mark twice, scoring 106 in the 35-point win against TTU, and 112 in the game against Tarvas, reaching another win by 35 points.
OFFENSE. Speaking of run-and-gun, the league‘s highest-powered offense, Pieno Zvaigzdes, are currently averaging nearly a hundred points per game. A couple more games like the two we witnessed this week, and the 96.2 average will rise to triple digits. This kind of basketball has been serving the Lithuanians well, as they‘ve won 10-of-11 and are hands down the league‘s best team, defeating their opponents by an average of 25.9 points.
DEPTH. If you had to pinpoint the two main components in Pasvalys‘ latest victory, it would easily be phenomenal shooting and bench depth – we‘ve noticed that those two go along quite well together. The team shot 61.2 percent from the field, as they also made nearly half of their three-pointers. As for depth, the fact that Karolis Babkauskas was the lowest scorer in the team with 8 points, while the other 7 players who stepped on court scored in double digits, says quite a lot on its own.
LOSS. Same story, different week, as Barsy have not managed to turn their luck around, losing for the eighth and ninth time. To make things worse, the losses have been blowouts, as the two losses came at an average margin of 33 points.
SWING. A twelve point lead after the first quarter is usually a sign that you‘re going to do pretty well in the game. Nevertheless, that wasn‘t the case for Liepaja/Triobet, as the score took a 30-point swing in favor of Port of Parnu, as the Estonians ended up winning by 18 points after dominating the second half.
RECORD. For the first time this season, a player has reached double-digits in offensive rebounds, as Thomas van der Mars tore down 10 boards on the offensive glass, adding to the six he made on the defensive end. It was van der Mars‘ ninth double-double, as he also scored 22 points in Rapla‘s loss against Barons kvartals.
It was a showcase of excellent basketball both in, and out of the Triobet BBL league. With 3 wins and just one loss, we can consider it a good week for our clubs playing in other European tournaments, so let’s round them all up in our weekly review.
Despite being down by 14 on several occasions in the third quarter, Lietkabelis managed to claw back and take their first victory in the Top 16, defeating Ratiopharm Ulm at home, 86-84. The veteran duo of Mindaugas Lukauskis and Ksistof Lavrinovic were the cornerstones of the victory, as they scored 21 and 19 points, respectively.
Basketball Champions League
Ventspils got another win to go 2-of-2 this year in the Basketball Champions League, as they defeated French side ASVEL 77-72 after a terrific second half. The Latvians were down by 6 at halftime, but managed to turn things around a nabbed an important victory to improve to 7-5, as the regular season is nearing a close.
Juventus weren’t as lucky though, as they crashed and burned in the final quarter, failing to hold their ground against Cibona. The Lithuanians still held a slim, 60-54 lead entering the final fourth, yet were impotent in the last ten minutes. They lost the period 27-12, went on to lose 72-81 in the Drazen Petrovic Basketball Center, and dropped to a 7-5 record.
FIBA Europe Cup
For Prienu-Birstono Vytautas, it was a win closer than they hoped for, but a win nonetheless. The Lithuanian club managed to take down Austrian side Redwell-Gunners and managed to hold on to the second spot in Group M. They were up by 16 after two quarters, but things got hot down the wire, as the home side chased back and kept things interesting in the final minutes. Final score – 85-81 in favor of Vytautas.
When Port of Parnu rose back up from a double-digit deficit in the game against Liepaja/Triobet, there was one man you could point the fingers at more than the others. Mihkel Kirves put up an astonishing display, and proved to be worthy of the Weekly MVP honors, as his side took a big home win.
With a 30-point swing in the game, you could tell things were going extremely well for Port of Parnu after the first quarter ended, and the same could be said about Mihkel Kirves, as he got nearly everything to fall. The forward scored 28 points shooting 10-for-14 from the field and added 6 free throw makes. He was also impressive under the boards, where he collected 13 rebounds. Kirves also dished out 2 assists and turned the ball over three times.
You couldn‘t say Kirves is having anything close to a phenomenal season, but his play has improved greatly after the New Year. Having averaged 5.7 points, 7.3 rebounds and 2.0 assists in his first three games, he picked it up and is averaging 22.5 points, 13.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 2.0 steals in the two games in January. Perhaps we‘ve got our newest monthly MVP brewing here?
Parnu have struggled so far this season, winning just three-of-eleven games, but if the 20-year-old continues putting up numbers like these, who knows what might happen!
RAPLA – Thomas van der Mars had yet another monstrous game but that wasn’t enough for the hosts to sneak out a victory, as Barons kvartals defeated AVIS Rapla 77-66 on Friday evening.
It was a nip-and-tuck affair from the earliest of stages in the game, as neither side were willing to give up any ground from the moment they hit the court. A quarter in, Barons kvartals held a slight advantage, leading by two.
The visitors managed to make some room for themselves at the start of the second period, as they improved their lead to 9 points. Nevertheless, AVIS Rapla managed to regain momentum and came back to reduce the deficit.
Barons kvartals managed to up the lead once again in the second half, only for it to be dissolved with a couple of baskets. Despite that, they still held an important 5 point margin over Rapla entering the final quarter.
The Latvians managed to get things going well in the final period, as they finally pushed the margin to double-digits. They went on to win by eleven.
Davis Geks was the top scorer for Barons kvartals, as he had 19 points, while Denis Krestinin chipped in with a solid double-double of 13 points and 13 rebounds. Davis Zonne added 12 points, while Kristaps Mediss ended the game with 11 points, despite going 0-for-6 from downtown.
Van der Mars was left scoreless in the final quarter, but still put up an outstanding scoreline for Rapla, as he worked hard on the offensive glass to collect 22 points and 16 rebounds (10 offensive). Rasham Suarez added 14 points, while Domen Bratoz chipped in with 12.
JURMALA - The home side didn't have too much trouble handling Barsy, as Jurmala/Fenikss rose to a huge victory against the Kazakhs, 88-52, denying the visitors their fiat victory.
It was not a beginning Barsy hoped for, as the first quarter was started terribly. 10 minutes into the game, the visitors were already down by 11 points, 23-12.
Barsy's woes didn't stop there though, as Jurmala's lead expanded to 29 not even halfway through the game. It was a dominant second quarter from the home side, as they won the period 28-10.
The game evened out after the break, but it was already a margin too big to overcome. The visitors reduced the deficit by a couple points, but were still being dominated.
There was a big separation between the two sides entering the final quarter, and it wasn't a deficit Barsy could overcome. They crashed and burned, as Jurmala/Fenikss improved their lead to 36 in the final fourth.
Arturs Duselis was the top scorer for Jurmala, as he dropped 19. Edmunds Elksnis chipped in with 15. Ugis pinete added 14, while Edgar's Jeromanovs and Viktors Ilkins added 10 points each, as the latter also contributed 11 rebounds.
Trevin Parks was the only player to enter double-digits, as he scored 19 points for Barsy.
PARNU – It was a terrific turnaround after a poor start for Port of Parnu, as they swiped away a 12-point deficit to come back and win it comfortably against Liepaja/Triobet, taking the big 93-75 W.
Liepaja/Triobet had it all falling for them in the first quarter, as they got ahead with terrific play on the offensive end. Just ten minutes in, it was already a double-digit advantage for them, 17-29.
Nevertheless, Port of Parnu managed to get a grip of themselves and raced back in the second quarter, cutting the deficit to just seven. Their comeback was alive and striving in the start of the second half as well, as the home side quickly tied the game up.
The third quarter was as close as it gets, as the leading side changed back and forth. However, it was apparent, that Parnu finally got in the groove and were enjoying their basketball. With ten minutes remaining on the clock, the Estonians were already up by eight, having double-upped their opponents in the third quarter, 30-15.
Liepaja‘s struggles continued in the final fourth, as the home side managed to push the margin to double-digits with a series of successful plays, forcing a timeout for the Latvians. Silly mistakes and rushed shots didn‘t help their cause, as Port of Parnu had everything going for them.
Halfway through the quarter there was already 17 points between the two sides and it looked like game over for Liepaja. They did manage to cut the deficit to 10, but that was as close as they got in the fourth quarter.
RAKVERE – Nowhere near a close game, as Pieno Zvaigzdes celebrated a blow-out victory in Rakvere, defeating Tarvas/Palmse Metall 77-112. Pieno Zvaigzdes currently hold the league‘s best record with a 10-1 standing.
There wasn‘t too much separation between the two sides in the first quarter, as the Estonians held their end of the bargain in the first quarter, staying very much in hte game.
However, any of the hustle and fight Tarvas showed in the first quarter was gone in the second, as the Lithuanians got off to a huge run, winning the ten minute stretch 33-14. With 23 points between them, it seemed to be a done deal already.
Pieno Zvaigzdes continued piling on the points, as the margin reached 30 points in the third quarter. The final quarter was merely a formality and it was the Lithuanian club celebrating their fifth consecutive victory.
Nearly all players got into double-digit scoring for Pieno Zvaigzdes, as Karolis Babkauskas was more interested in getting his teammates involved. The point guard had 8 points and 9 assists. Evaldas Zabas, however, had an excellent night shooting the ball, as he tallied 26 points. Nikita Balashov added 16 points and 8 boards to the tally, while Egidijus Dimsa ended up with 15 and 9. Andriy Agafonov had 14 points, while Derrick Low, Justas Tamulis and Steponas Babrauskas all had 11 points apiece.
Justin Baker was a rare bright spot for Tarvas/Palmse Metall, as he scored 28 points and tore down 11 rebounds. Oliver Metsalu and Timo Eichfuss chipped in with 12 points each.
RAPLA – AVIS Rapla secured a comfortable victory as they took on Latvian visitors Liepaja/Triobet on Tuesday evening. The Latvians got ahead at the end of the first quarter, but from then on, it was all Rapla, as the Estonians managed to turn the table and won 83-71.
There wasn’t much to separate the two sides for the lion’s share of the first quarter, but Liepaja/Triobet managed to win the final 1:10 spread 7-0 and jumped ahead 25-19 after the first period.
Nevertheless, that lead didn’t stand for long, as the hosts were quick to regain ground and halfway through the second period, it was already them in front, leading 37-31. While the margin had reached eight points, the teams ended the half with just three points between them.
Right as the second half started, it began raining threes – AVIS Rapla nailed three consecutive long-range bombs in under a minute and pushed the lead to double-digits. They continued their dominant play and took total control of the game, as the lead rose to 16.
While the teams started off the final quarter with a 13-point spread, Liepaja/Triobet managed to bring back some intrigue into the game, cutting the deficit in half to just six with four minutes remaining. Nevertheless, the visitors turned the ball just too many times in the final minutes to stay competitive and lost by 12.
Rasham Suarez was a key to Rapla’s win, as he scored 21 points and chipped in with 8 rebounds. Kristjan Voolaid added 16 points, while Thomas van der Mars secured yet another double-double, scoring 14 and adding 15 rebounds to the tally. Sven Kaldre and Domen Bratoz were also effective, scoring 12 and 11 points, respectively.
Lateef Mcmullan had a big night scoring-wise, as he put up 26 points for Liepaja/Triobet, but he didn’t get too much help from his teammates, as Davis Rozitis was the only other Liepaja player in double-digit scoring with 10 points to his name. Carl Anthony Montgomery added 9 points and 7 rebounds to the tally.
TALLINN – The second game in a row finished in a similar fashion, as Pieno Zvaigzdes followed Nevezis’ footsteps and blew out their opponents. The Lithuanian side destroyed TTU 106-71 and improved to the best record in the league, 8-1.
The game was pretty much taken care of in the first quarter already, as Pieno Zvaigzdes ran off to a 19-point lead eight minutes into the game with a 25-6 start. The lead was slightly cut back in the next couple minutes, but the Lithuanians still enjoyed a comfortable lead.
Things didn’t get much better in the second period. Although, TTU were probably happy they didn’t get that much worse, seeing the way they played. Two quarters in, it was a one-sided affair, as Pieno Zvaigzdes looked down with a 20-point advantage, 53-33.
TTU showed some signs of life after the halftime break, as they slowly closed in on their opponents. Nevertheless, the hosts couldn’t get closer than 15 points, and Pieno Zvaigzdes used a couple of successful possessions to bring the lead back to 19 before the final quarter.
While it already seemed all said and done, the visitors managed to pile on some more points to their lead, as the margin reached game-high 35 points with the final shot.
Nikita Balashov had a terrific game for Pieno Zvaigzdes, scoring 22 points and tearing down 6 rebounds. Egidijus Dimsa added another 16 points to the tally, while Karolis Babkauskas ended the game with 15 points, 5 rebounds and 6 assists. Evaldas Zabas added 13 points, while Osvaldas Olisevicius ended up scoring 12. Justas Tamulis had 11 points, while Andriy Agafonov added 10.
Kiur Akenparg was the leader in scoring for TTU with 15 points in his account. Nikola Vujovic added 13, while Toomas Raadik had 12 on near-perfect shooting. Joonas Jarvelainen had a rough time finding ways to the basket, but still ended up scoring 11 points.