Twin Towers Ryan and Tyler Olander led Siauliai past second division Delikatesas, 89-68, in an exhibition tune-up. If I am translating the game summary correctly, Tyler had 15 points and 7 rebounds in 21 minutes, shooting 5-7 from the field, 1-2 from deep and 2-2 from the free throw line. Ryan added 6 points for the victors. American Jonathan Lee (Northeastern) led the club with 19 points in just 18 minutes of action. Pictures below:
Olander brothers reunited in Lithuania
Ryan Olander has joined brother Tyler in Lithuania, agreeing to terms with BC Siauliai on a one year deal. Olander spent last season with Lietkabelis ( of the LKL/Baltic League), averaging 11 points/6 rebounds en route to his first LKL All Star game selection. In 13 Baltic League games, Olander averaged 8 points/6 rebounds and was named Eurobasket.com All-Baltic League Honorable Mention. Olander gives the club a versatile big man who can shoot from the outside yet still provide strength underneath, allowing Tyler to be used on the perimeter as a stretch power forward.
Siauliai won the Baltic League (BBL) in 2014 and will compete this season in the LKL, BBL as well as Group H of the EuroChallenge. For those unfamiliar, EuroChallenge is the third tier men’s professional club competition in Europe, only behind EuroCup and Euroleague (Europe’s NBA)- all under the umbrella of FIBA Europe. 32 teams from 20 countries are divided into 8 regular season round robin groups based on geography. Other Group H members include Enisey (Russia), Tsmoki-Minsk (Belarus) and Usak (Turkey). The two finalists at the end of each season get promoted to the EuroCup, where clubs can then vie for a Euroleague promotion.
Best of luck to Ryan and Tyler and stay tuned for the latest from Lithuania…
Lietkabelis narrowly misses LKL playoffs
The 2013-14 Lietkabelis season officially came to a close Saturday afternoon. Needing a victory in their final regular season game to clinch a playoff berth, Lietkabelis was forced to play the waiting game after coming up short April 23rd. Sitting at #9, with the top eight clubs advancing to the playoffs, Lietkabelis needed #8 Nevezis to lose two in a row to squeak into the postseason. Although the two clubs shared identical records, Nevezis won the tie breaker by just a two point differential. To make matters worse, Lietkabelis missed a three at the buzzer in the final meeting between the two. A thirty-one game season, spanning seven months, came down to two points and one missed shot.
Lietkabelis almost got their wish as #2 Neptunas defeated Nevesis Wednesday on a last second buzzer beater (top play). Unfortunately, Nevezis final regular season game came against #5 Zvaigzdes, a club whose playoff fortunes were already sealed. As a result, Zvaigzdes rested many of their starters and Nevezis capitalized with an 80-66 victory, claiming the eighth and final playoff spot. Lietkabelis finished the LKL season at a 12-22 mark, an improvement from last year where they finished #11.
The team was led by American center Ryan Olander, who finished the season with averages of 11 ppg and 6 rpg. His complete stat line can be found below:
It is also worth mentioning that Olander was the lone representative for Lietkabelis at the 2014 LKL All Star Game played on March 3rd in Klaipeda. Olander suited up for Rytai (Eastern Division) with the likes of former Dallas Mavericks draft pick Reynaldos Seibutis and Louisville Cardinal Juan Palacios. The West squad featured former Georgia high flyer Travis Leslie, Duke Blue Devil Martynas Pocius and Dallas Maverick Justin Dentmon. Olander finished with 6 points and 2 rebounds in 11 minutes in his All Star debut as the East lost to the West 113-108. Below is Olander’s All Star jersey:
Former Stags battle in Lithuania
Round 24 was a reunion for former Fairfield basketball players Derek Needham and Ryan Olander, 4,000 miles from the state of Connecticut. In a back and forth game featuring six lead changes and eight ties, Olander came away with the last laugh as #10 Lietkabelis pulled off the overtime upset at home over #5 Siauliai, 83-77. Siauliai watched its 9 point half time lead quickly evaporate behind a 24-14 third quarter run by Lietkabelis. Olander was key in the closing possessions of the quarter scoring 6 points to counter each Siauliai attack. After squandering a 5 point lead with 1 minute to go in regulation the game went to OT where Olander once again made his presence felt. Down 2 with 2:33 remaining, Olander snuck behind the defense for an AND-1 to put Lietkabelis up 1 and they would not look back from there holding on for the 6 point victory. Olander finished the game with 16 points/5 rebounds, leading the team with a 20 efficiency rating. American Travis Leslie (Georgia) put on a show for the losers scoring 28 points and grabbing 15 rebounds while throwing down two highlight reel dunks. Derek Needham had 5 points/6 assists for Siauliai.
Game can be watched here: http://lkl.lt/lt/top/rungtynes/?game_id=2788033&season_id=87901
#10 Lietkabelis could not overcome a hot start from #7 Juventus as they fell on the road 101-74. Juventus, behind 24 points from former Seton Hall sharpshooter Jeremy Hazell, shot over 53% from 3 (16-30) and 56% (23-41) from inside the arc to sink Lietkabelis. Ryan Olander provided 9 points/4 rebounds in the losing effort. Lietkabelis has a week off to rest before hosting three straight home games in a final push for a playoff berth beginning with #9 Nevezis Tuesday, March 18th.
Lietkabelis survives rough stretch in Rounds 21-23
With the LKL playoffs looming in the near future, rounds 21-23 were pivotal for Lietkabelis as they battled the top three clubs in the LKL. Lietkabelis came out of the rough stretch a very respectable 1-2 considering they had not beaten any of the top three previously this season.
Round 21 saw #10 Lietkabelis 3 game win streak come to an end at the hands of #1 Tonybet, 83-73. Down 56-35 at half, Lietkabelis rallied in the 3rd quarter to cut the lead to 8. Tonybet took advantage of 26 personal fouls shooting 82% (23-28) to close out the game. American Darrick Leonard led the way with 14 points and Ryan Olander added 8 points/2 rebounds in the losing effort.
Watch here: http://lkl.lt/lt/top/rungtynes/?game_id=2788013&season_id=87901
The biggest win of the season for #10 Lietkabelis came in Round 22 as they defeated #2 Zvaigzdes, 75-73. Croatian guard Goran Vrbanc paced Lietkabelis with 25 points in a game that featured 9 lead changes and saw neither team gain more than an 11 point advantage. Tied after 3 quarters, Lietkabelis shot 85% (11-13) from the foul line to seal the deal. Ryan Olander provided 4 points/6 rebounds in 20 minutes of action for Lietkabelis.
Watch here: http://lkl.lt/lt/top/rungtynes/?game_id=2788019&season_id=87901#stf
Lietkabelis traveled to the capital city for a Round 23 bout with #3 Lietuvos Rytas in Vilnius. Unfortunately they could not build on the momentum from the Zvaigzdes win, falling 85-74. Colombian Juan Palacios (Louisville) led L-R with 20 points/8 rebounds while American Omar Cook (St. John’s) chipped in 6 points/4 assists off the bench. Lietkabelis did manage to control the boards- even with former NBA forward Darius Songaila lurking in the paint- however their inability to shoot the ball (28% from 2) led to the undesirable outcome. American Ryan Olander put up 6 points in the losing effort. Lietkabelis hosts #4 Siauliai tomorrow starting another huge stretch for the club’s playoff push. With just 9 games remaining Lietkabelis remains at #10 with games against #9 Nevezis and #7 Juventus following tomorrow’s match.
Remember: only the top 8 teams advance.
This game is not yet available for viewing.
Lietkabelis creeps closer to playoff berth with 2 wins in Rounds 19/20
Lietkabelis took advantage of 58 points in the paint to dismantle #11 LSU-Atletas by a score of 93-71 in Round 19 play. The game was not only a big road win for #10 Lietkabelis but also put them another game ahead of last place LSU. The victors controlled the glass by a 44-30 margin, neutralizing 7’3 center and LKL leading rebounder Tomas Urbonas. Russian center Ivan Nelyubov had a huge game for Lietkabelis, leading the team with 32 points and 8 rebounds. Ryan Olander contributed 4 points and 3 rebounds while American newcomer Darrick Leonard (Aurora College) finished with 2 points/5 rebounds in his first game.
Full game can be watched here: http://lkl.lt/en/top/game/?game_id=2787989&season_id=87901
In Round 20 action, Lietkabelis held on for a 85-77 home victory against #9 Dzukija. The win had playoff implications for #10 Lietkabelis, putting the club within one game of Dzukija as both teams battle for the last postseason berth (top 8 advance). Russian center Ivan Nelyubov tallied a double double for Lietkabelis (20/11) while American Darrick Leonard chipped in 19/9 off the bench. Ryan Olander added 16 points on 6-9 shooting (including 2 3’s) and 6 rebounds (4 offensive) for a 16 efficiency rating. Lietkabelis returns to the hardwood February 18th against #1 seed Tonybet in an attempt to continue their climb in the standings. Tonybet has defeated Lietkabelis in all three meetings this year by an average score of 15.
Full game can be watched here: http://lkl.lt/lt/top/rungtynes/?game_id=2788003&season_id=87901#stf
Check out this big dunk by Olander during a recent BBL match up (20 second mark):
Also note the song is not only real but played before every BBL game…
LKL Update Rounds 15-18
Round 15: January 7th, 2014
#1 seed Tonybet picked up the road win against #11 Lietkabelis, 80-61. The game marks the fourth consecutive loss for Lietkabelis as they fall to 3-13 in league play. Ryan Olander led Lietkabelis with 16 points on 7-10 shooting while also grabbing 7 rebounds.
Round 16: January 11th, 2014
Without starting center Ryan Olander (flu) #8 Juventus dominated the glass (50-35) in an 82-57 victory over #11 Lietkabelis in Utena. American center AJ Matthews (Farmingdale St) paced Juventus with 18/10 in 23 minutes of play. Juventus led 42-24 at the half and shot 95% (22-23) from the line to close out the game.
Round 17: January 14th, 2014
American David McClure (Duke) led #6 Siauliai to a 62-50 win over #11 Lietkabelis. McClure, who played high school ball at Trinity Catholic in Connecticut prior to his Duke days, contributed 13/9 in 29 minutes. Ryan Olander added 6/8/2 blocks in 32 minutes of action. Lietkabelis remains in 11th place with the loss.
Round 18: January 18th, 2014
#11 Lietkabelis picked up a huge road win Saturday afternoon surviving a ferocious second half comeback against #4 Nevezis. Lietkabelis took the lead midway through the second quarter and never looked back shooting 88% (15-17) from the charity stripe to close out the game. Ryan Olander had 11 points and 10 rebounds for the victors who controlled the glass by a 46-35 margin. The win ends a 6 game losing streak and propels the team into 10th place in the LKL standings. Lietkabelis returns to LKL action February 1st as they travel to #11 LSU-Atletas.
LKL Update Rounds 12-14
Update from the last 3 weeks in LKL play:
On December 18th, 2013 8th ranked Dzukia defeated 10th ranked Lietkabelis in Panevezys by a 74-64 margin. Lietkabelis entered the 4th up 2 before a foul-plagued final quarter allowed for a 27-15 run by the visitor. Nigerian Chukwudinma Odiakosa (Illinois State) led Lietkabelis with 20 points and 7 rebounds while Ryan Olander added 9 points and 6 rebounds in a losing effort.
On December 21st, 2013 3rd ranked Zvaigzdes defeated 10th ranked Lietkabelis 86-50 at home. Lietkabelis was held to just 5 points in the first quarter and never recovered from the early deficit. Zvaigzdes shot 43% (9-21) from deep including a 3-3 effort off the bench from Latvian swingman Ingus Bankevics. American Parrish Brown (Maryland) paced Lietkabelis with 14 off the bench and Ryan Olander contributed 8 points and 2 rebounds.
Top-ranked Lietuvos-Rytas moved to 8-0 with a 98-68 victory over #11 Lietkabelis December 27th in Panevezys. Colombian Juan Palacios (Louisville) led Lietuvos with 16 points and 7 rebounds while American Zabian Dowdell (Virginia Tech/Phoenix Suns) collected 7 points and 8 assists. Dowdell finished his college career as the seventh leading scorer in Virginia Tech history (1,785) and top five in assists (380), however shockingly went undrafted in the 2007 NBA Draft. In 2011 he was the subject of a Sports Illustrated article giving a behind the scenes look at 10-day contracts in the NBA (link found below). UCONN fans remember Palacios as a key contributor for Rick Pitino’s Louisville Cardinals from 2004-2008. Lietuvos also features former St. John’s point guard Omar Cook who was not featured in Friday’s action. Ryan Olander scored 11 first half points -including two pick and roll dunks- battling Palacios in the post. Parrish Brown (Maryland) chipped in 8 points and 8 rebounds for Lietkabelis who fell into last place with their third consecutive loss.
Lietkabelis escapes with victory
LKL Round 11 Recap
Lietkabelis escaped with a narrow victory Wednesday, defeating LKL league rival LSU-Atletas by a 76-72 margin in Kaunas. With the win Lietkablis skips Atletas in the standings, entering Round 12 at #10. Lietkabelis was led by Ryan Olander’s 17/11 night battling 7’3 Lithuanian center Tomas Urbonas- the league leader in rebounds/blocked shots at 8.9/3.0 respectively. Olander finished with 17 points, 11 rebounds and a team-leading 18 efficiency rating countered by Urbonas’ 9 points, 12 rebounds and 3 blocked shots for an efficiency rating of 20. Olander was able to draw Urbonas out of the middle, knocking down two first half 3’s and secured a major defensive rebound battling his opposition in the final two minutes. Lietkabelis as a team shot 47% from deep while holding the trigger-happy LSU-Atletas to a lowly 32%. In a game that featured 25 lead changes, with no team gaining more than a 6 point advantage at any time, the play of the game came on a defensive effort late in the fourth quarter.
Up one with 2:15 remaining in the game, #9 Maya Kariniauskas stripped #4 Carol Babkauskas on a clear path to the basket leading to an easy fast break layup for #77 Jacob Gintainis. Babkauskas had a step on Kariniauskas with a chance to put his team back on top, a true game-changing play. The layup put Lietkabelis up three and they never looked back. Kariniauskas later blocked a 3-point attempt with 42 seconds on the clock to keep Lietkabelis up for good. An offensive foul on the ensuing in-bound gave LSU-Atletas another look from distance, but the shot rimmed around into the hands of Olander. Missed free throws coupled with a rainbow 3-pointer kept the game interesting until the final buzzer. All things considered it was a league win on the road- huge for any team, in any league, in any country. Play resumes Wednesday, December 18th when Lietkabelis hosts #9 Dzukija in Panevezys. Lietkabelis could move into the #9 spot with a win, keeping in mind the top 8 qualify for the playoffs. Dzukija features American shooting guard James Lewis, a 2010 Fresno Pacific graduate who played for the Maine Red Claws in the D-League and most recently for Los Mochis in Mexico.
Round 11 action can be watched here:
Update from Lithuania
December 11th, 2013 marks Round 11 of the premier domestic basketball league in Lithuania (LKL). Panevezys-Lietkabelis enters play fresh off a 69-61 defeat at the hands of P. Zaigzdes, a club featuring former Louisville Cardinals/Los Angeles Lakers draft pick Derrick Caracter. The LKL regular season consists of 31 games culminating in three rounds of playoffs involving the top eight teams*. Today, Lietkabelis finds itself at the bottom of the eleven team league with a record of 2-9 however, with fifteen league games left there remains plenty of time to secure a playoff berth.
Lietkabelis is led by 7’0 (213cm) center Ryan Olander out of Mansfield, CT who enters Round 11 averaging 15.4 ppg/7.4 rpg – good for fourth and fifth in the league respectively. Olander previously played for Juventus/Palanga, also of the LKL, averaging 13/7 in his first year abroad. Lietkabelis resumes play this afternoon on the road against #10 LSU-Atletas with a chance to move up in the standings. Atletas handled Lietkabelis by a score of 90-84 back on November 5th in their only matchup of the young season.
More to come following the action…
*OF NOTE: While Lietkabelis is a member of the LKL, their schedule consists of clubs from three leagues spanning much of eastern/northern Europe:
- Baltic Basketball League (BBL): Estonia, Finland, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Sweden
- Notable Americans: Derrick Caracter (UTEP/LA Lakers), Derek Needham (Fairfield U)
- VTB United League (VTB): Belarus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia, Ukraine
- Notable Americans: Julian Wright (Kansas/Toronto Raptors), Paul Davis (Michigan St/LA Clippers), Derrick Brown (Xavier/Charlotte Bobcats)
- Euroleague (NBA of Europe): 41 different countries represented, notable clubs- Real Madrid (Spain), CSKA Moscow (Russia), Maccabi Tel Aviv (Israel) and Olympiacos (Greece)
- Notable Americans: Marcus Williams (UCONN/NJ Nets), Scotty Hopson (Tennessee), Justin Dentmon (Washington/Dallas Mavs), Omar Cook (St. John’s/Denver Nuggets)