Lithuanian media are reporting a potential betting scandal in a regular season Lithuanian Basketball League (LKL) match played between Kaunas Zalgiris and Palanga Naglis on April 5. It has been alleged that an unknown number of players on the Naglis team bet against themselves to lose the match by a margin of more than 30 points. Naglis administration alerted bookmakers of the alleged scam following the match, claiming that their team showed no signs of playing defense late in the match as Zalgiris’ lead increased towards 30 points. They have requested to see security tape footage from the local bookmakers in the town of Palanga as part of an internal investigation they are making into the game. All pay-outs from bets made on the game have been suspended. For the record, Zalgiris Kaunas maintained their unbeaten record in the Lithuanian domestic competition this season, winning the match 103-66. Naglis had been leading the match at the end of the opening quarter.
The Latvian men’s hockey team has continued to look shaky in their build-up to the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) World Championships, which begin in Slovakia later this month, losing both matches of a two game series against Finland, which was held in Riga on April 7 and 8. Sporting a lineup similar to that which will travel to Slovakia, the Olegs Znaroks’ coached team lost the first match 5-0 and the second an evening later, 5-3. At no stage in the opening game did the Latvians look to have any control over the match, losing the opening period 1-0 and the next two, 2-0 and 2-0. Improvements were seen an evening later when Latvia at least managed to get themselves on the scoreboard. The Latvian team now travels to Innsbruck, Austria to take on the Austrians in two matches on April 13 and 14.
Latvian ice hockey player Oskars Bartulis will be watching from the sidelines when the National Hockey League (NHL) playoffs begin this week, despite his side, the Philadelphia Flyers, qualifying for the playoffs by finishing the regular season in second spot in the Eastern Conference. The 24-year old defenseman featured in just 13 games this season before being hit late in a game against the Phoenix Coyotes on Feb. 22. The late hit saw the offender, Scottie Upshall, suspended for two games but the penalty was much worse for Bartulis, who sustained a shoulder injury that has seen him out of action since. It may be another four to five weeks before he returns to action, also ruling him out of contention for the IIHF World Championships.