Former Stags battle in Lithuania

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     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

ROUND 25

     #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.

Game: http://lkl.lt/lt/top/rungtynes/?game_id=2788041&season_id=87901#mbt:73-400$t&0=1

Lietkabelis creeps closer to playoff berth with 2 wins in Rounds 19/20

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     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

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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.

Video: http://lkl.lt/lt/top/rungtynes/?game_id=2787941&season_id=87901

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.

Video: http://lkl.lt/lt/top/rungtynes/?game_id=2787947&season_id=87901

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.

Video: http://lkl.lt/lt/top/rungtynes/?game_id=2787955&season_id=87901

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.

Video: http://lkl.lt/en/top/game/?game_id=2787965&season_id=87901

Lietkabelis escapes with victory

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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:

http://lkl.lt/lt/top/rungtynes/?game_id=2787911&season_id=87901

Update from Lithuania

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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)