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.
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:
East All Star Jersey