RIGA - SEB Latvian Basketball team Barons/LU returned from Estonia on Dec. 10 with one loss and one victory.
Estonia's Dalkia/Nybit destroyed Barons by a painful 82-63. Arbet and Alesh Zivanovic started the game with two treys, bringing the match to 6-0 after one minute played. One quarter later, the scoreboard showed 13-12 in Estonia's favor.
Nybit began the second quarter with a 9-2 run, taking the lead 22-14. After another triple from Arbet, Nybit went ahead 31-20, but Ainars Bagatskis answered with just four points and the first half of the game ended 33-24.
Nybit also dominated the third quarter, 18-11. Players Arbet, Sokk, Bogdanov and Makke kept the home team ahead with a double-digit advantage. With one quarter left to play, the scoreboard's digital lights read 51-35.
Despite Estonia's usual bad luck, Nybit held his team members' heads up until the final whistle.
It wasn't until a day later, when Barons played Pirita, when Latvian basketball fans could see that several clever conclusions were made after being defeated by Dalkia/Nybit. Ainars Bagatskis basically took the game into his own hands: he shot five three-pointers and was the top scorer with 20 points during the game.
Compared to Barons' struggle against Nybit, the Pirita game was a breeze. The Estonian team made only 10 of 37 two-point shots and had 10 more turnovers than their guests. The team's only bright element was long-range shooting - Pirita made 10 of 21 three-pointers.
A mediocre watch, the first half of the game was equal, although Barons basically dictated the plays. The biggest lead they had was 10 points. At halftime, the score read 46-40 for Barons. The third quarter was bad for Pirita, as it usually is for Estonian teams. Barons kept up their lead and wouldn't slow down. The last quarter changed nothing.
The final score, 90-75 was Pirita's 12th loss out of 15 games. Barons has won seven out of 12 games, putting them back into the Top 6.
Lithuania's Zalgiris currently sits in first place with 15 victories out of 15 games. Lietuvos Rytas is second after winning all 13 games played, and Latvian team Ventspils is in third place with three lost games out of 14.
Later this week, Zalgiris will play Lietuvos Rytas, while Ventspils faces Valmiera. Who knows, maybe the top three in the standings will change.