2014/15 LKL Season in Review: ROlander, TOlander and Oriakhi

The 2014/15 LKL season has come to a close for the Twin Towers of Olander and former UConn National Champion Alex Oriakhi. Here is a look back on the season in review including final statistics, best performance, and top play for each player:

Gintaras Siuparys

Gintaras Siuparys

Ryan Olander and BC Siauliai entered the LKL playoffs with the #7 seed, in a best-of-five matchup with #2 Lietuvos Rytas. The Lithuanian powerhouse proved too strong for Siauliai, knocking them out of the playoffs with three straight victories behind the play of Americans Billy Baron (UVA/URI), Mike Moser (UCLA/Oregon) and Travis Leslie (Georgia/LA Clippers).

Though a strong season overall, which included a Baltic Basketball League Championship, Olander put forth his strongest numbers when it mattered most- during EuroChallenge play. The EuroChallenge is the third-tier professional league in Europe and Olander ranked in the top three converting on 73% of his field goal attempts- drawing interest from competitors in the process.

BC Siauliai Final Record: 18-22

R. Olander G MIN FG% FT% RPG PPG RANK
Siauliai 41 17.4 54% 62% 4.0 7.6 7.7
Euro-Chal. 6 21 73% 55% 3.7 11 9.8

Best Game: November 12th, 2014: Siauliai 94 – Tsmoki-Minsk (Belarus) 91. Olander had 23 points on 11-14 shooting to go along with 4 rebounds and 1 assist in a road win over Tsmoki-Minsk.

Top Play: The chuckle from the announcer is by far the best part.


Gintaras Siuparys

Gintaras Siuparys

Tyler Olander played the first half of the season with BC Siauliai before he was loaned to Mazeikiai for the remainder of the year for more playing time. Since joining the 1-24 Mazeikiai in February, Olander led the club to a 5-8 record in his 13 games averaging 7 points and nearly 5 rebounds in the process.

Mazeikiai Final Record: 6-32

T. Olander G MIN FG% FT% RPG PPG RANK
Siauliai 23 11.7 55% 84% 3.0 5.0 5.5
Mazeikiai 13 17.2 44% 73% 4.8 7.2 7.7

Best Game: February 28th, 2015: Lietuvos Rytas 76 – Mazeikiai 70. Tyler exploded for 14 points and 9 rebounds in just 20 minutes of action in a near upset of #2 Lietuvos Rytas.

Top Play: Olander appeared at #2 in the BEKO LKL Top Ten plays for Round 22 with this mid-air adjustment.


eurobasket.com

eurobasket.com

Alex Oriakhi led the Pieno Zvaigzdes “Milk Stars” to the #4 seed in the LKL playoffs, straight into a matchup with #3 Juventus. After splitting the first four games of the series, the Milk Stars fell short in Game 5 by a 69-61 margin, ending their season. Although it was a tough end to the year, Oriakhi put together a strong year numbers-wise and was elected a starter in the LKL All-Star game. With his rights still owned by the Sacramento Kings of the NBA, Oriakhi has returned stateside to compete with the Kings summer league team.

P. Zvaigzdes Final Record: 24-16

2014/15 G MIN FG% FT% RPG PPG RANK
A. Oriakhi 41 18 55% 61% 6.8 8.8 10.6

Best Game: January 31st, 2015: P. Zvaigzdes 99 – Siauliai 97. In an impressive month of January where he was named Player of the Month, Oriakhi led the Milk Stars over the Twin Towers with 17 points and 14 rebounds (8 offensive) in 20 minutes.

Top Play: Oriakhi extends for the dramatic finish off an oop from teammate Michael Dixon for #2 on the BEKO LKL Top Ten regular season plays.


Stay tuned for season reviews for all of UConn Country in Europe!

Olander and Siauliai upset their way to Bronze in the Lithuanian Cup

Siauliai 2.0

Gintaras Siuparys

The LKF Cup is an annual professional basketball competition held among the top 8 teams in the Lithuanian National League (LKL). At #7, Siauliai barely qualified for the tournament. They did however create the most buzz, knocking off heavily favored #2 Neptunas of the Euroleague in the quarterfinals, a club who had only lost three games all season and features former OKC Thunder guard Mustafa Shakur. Next, Siauliai took Lithuanian power Lietuvos Rytas down to the wire in the semifinals before eventually knocking off #4 Juventus -behind 9 points/8 rebounds from Ryan Olander- to take home the bronze. Olander averaged 7 points and 6 rebounds over the course of the three day tournament. Here are game highlights below:

LKF Quarterfinal: #7 Siauliai vs #2 Neptunas

LKF Semifinal: #7 Siauliai vs #3 Lietuvos Rytas

LKF Consolation: #7 Siauliai vs #4 Juventus

Siauliai returns to LKL action March 2nd against #10 Nevezis. Hopefully they can ride this momentum into the LKL Tournament, which begins in May.

Gintaras Siuparys

Gintaras Siuparys

Siauliai loses to Rytas; adds American Jeff Allen (VT)

Gintaras Siuparys

Gintaras Siuparys

#7 Siauliai hung tough for the duration of the game but took home the loss yesterday against #4 Lietuvos Rytas, 88-72. Down 46-32 at half, the club rallied during a 28 point third quarter to within two, but ultimately could not overcome Rytas’ hot shooting (42% from three). Ryan Olander had 2 points, 3 rebounds and 3 assists in the loss.

Highlights:

Full Game:

In other news, Siauliai has added former Virginia Tech forward Jeff Allen. Allen finished fourth place all-time at Virginia Tech with 1,111 career rebounds and also became the first player in ACC (not to be confused with AAC of course-big difference) history with 1,500 career points, 1,000 rebounds, 200 steals and 150 blocked shots. Allen comes to Lithuania from Maccabi Haifa of the Israeli Premier League -the top national league in Israel- where he was averaging 11 points/4 rebounds.

Here are some highlights from Allen’s VT days:

Olanders lead #7 Siauliai to Victory (Video)

Gintaras Siuparys

Gintaras Siuparys

Ryan Olander had 12 points/4 rebounds and Tyler Olander played possibly his best game of the season adding 9 points (on a perfect 3/3 from downtown) and a team-leading 7 rebounds in #7 Siauliai’s 92-61 victory over #9 Prienai. The win snaps a four game losing streak for Siauliai and puts them two games ahead of #8 Lietkabelis, who clings to the last playoff berth. Ryan Olander’s dunk in the first half was voted the “Moment of the Game” and has led some in Lithuania to call him “Air Olander”.

Game highlights can be found below with TOlander appearing around the 1:05 mark and ROlander at 2:15:

The full game can be viewed here:

Siauliai returns to action January 18th when they take on Lithuanian powerhouse Lietuvos Rytas. Rytas, featuring Travis Leslie (Georgia/LA Clippers) and Billy Baron (UVA/URI), compete in both the LKL and EuroCup (think Jerome Dyson). Leslie led Siauliai to the Baltic Basketball League (BBL) championship last year before signing with Rytas.

Lietkabelis survives rough stretch in Rounds 21-23

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     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.

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LKL Update Rounds 12-14

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Update from the last 3 weeks in LKL play:

Round 12

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.

Video: http://lkl.lt/en/top/game/?game_id=2787919&season_id=87901#mbt:73-400$t&0=0

Round 13

     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.

Video: http://lkl.lt/en/top/game/?game_id=2787925&season_id=87901

Round 14

     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.

Article: http://si.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1181204/index.htm

Video: http://lkl.lt/en/top/game/?game_id=2787935&season_id=87901