Siauliai overcome Lietkabelis in second half


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 LietkabelisRyan 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:

Barons keep Valga Maks&Moorits winless


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 BaronsKarlis 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.

Pieno Zvaigzdes top Juventus for sixth win


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 defeat Parnu, as Giedraitis returns


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 ParnuJanis Vahter collected a game-high 22 points and seven rebounds, with Heiko Rannula chipping in 17 points and five boards.

Highlights of the game:

Pyrinto torch Valmiera's defense


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:

BBL Weekly Review: Volume 3


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.

Pyrinto too strong for Dolphins


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.

Ventspils down Liepaja/Triobet


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/TriobetIngus Jakovics had a team-high 15 points, with Artis Ate being the only other home team’s player in double digits with 13 points.

Nevezis fined for comments about referees


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.

Injury-riddled Nevezis snap Siauliai's run


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.