A species comprising less than 1% of the world’s population, seven footers or “footers” are a rare breed. Whether intentional or not, life at such a high altitude leaves them especially susceptible to be victimized by posterizations, leading to hanging heads and slumped shoulders- currently the largest known threat to the species. The most recent victim, 7’0 Kymantas Simonas of Tonybet, was reduced to extinction after this shame-inflicting dunk from Siauliai’s Ryan Olander, seen below at #5 in this week’s BEKO LKL’s Top Ten plays.
Since winning the Baltic Basketball League Championship earlier this month, Siauliai has gone 2-2 in their return to LKL play. With only 4 league games remaining, Siauliai is essentially locked at the #7 seed and is slated to play #2 Zalgiris when first round play begins in May. This year’s LKL playoffs will follow a best of 5 format for all three rounds of action.
Tyler Olander returns to the Top 10 with an alley-oop dunk over his former team Siauliai (#2). TO finished with 9 points and 2 rebounds for #11 Mazeikiai but Ryan Olander (4 points/3 rebounds) and #7 Siauliai got the last laugh, holding on for a 90-81 victory.
The Baltic Region was ripe with victory last week as both Olanders picked up big wins for their respective clubs. Ryan Olander dropped 13 points/4 rebounds in a win for #7 Siauliai over #8 Lietkabelis while Tyler Olander just missed a double-double contributing 9 points/9 rebounds for #11 Mazeikiai in their upset of #9 Tonybet.
If you missed my previous post, Tyler Olander has been loaned from Siauliai to Mazeikiai, where he will finish the season. Catch up here.
Siauliai – Lietkabelis
Mazeikiai – Tonybet
Ryan and Siauliai return to action tomorrow with a Lithuanian Cup bronze medal rematch against #5 Juventus. Meanwhile, Tyler and Mazeikiai battle Alex Oriakhi and #4 Zvaigzdes in a primetime matchup on Saturday.
2015 BEKO-LKL voting is now underway until March 8th. Help Siauliai Center Ryan Olander return to Vilnius by following these voting instructions below. You may also win a trip for two to Turkey in the process…
Note: DO NOT translate the page to English, for whatever reason I could not submit my vote. The pictures below should serve as a sufficient guide.
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.
Tyler Olander had 13 points and a team leading 6 rebounds as #7 Siauliai rolled over #11 Mazeikiai, 86-61. Ryan Olander finished with just 4 points but once again provided the play of the game, on this lob the announcer clearly did not expect him to finish:
Air Olander makes an additional appearance, in this week’s LKL Top 10 plays (#7).
#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.
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.
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”.
BEKO-LKL dienos momentas: K. Babkausko perdavimas ir R. Olander dėjimas į „Prienų“ krepšį: http://t.co/8UEAV4IJah via
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.
We last checked in with the Twin Towers in mid-December after Siauliai had been eliminated from EuroChallenge contention on a half-court buzzer-beater. Not to worry, there is still much basketball to be played. This season, Siauliai competes in both the top national league, Lithuanian Basketball League (LKL), as well as the competition-based EuroChallenge (invite only). Remember, European clubs play in multiple leagues. Some are national, others regional and select are competition-based off the previous season’s performance. Siauliai earned an invite to the EuroChallenge after a 2013-14 campaign that saw the club win its first Baltic Basketball League (regional) title. Siauliai failed to advance in EuroChallenge play but will still compete for the LKL championship in April.
The holiday’s proved a rough stretch for Siauliai as they have gone 1-3 in their past 4 games. The club dropped to #6 in the standings (9-9), after another tough home loss, this time at the hands of #4 Juventus. Siauliai jumped out to a 48-37 lead at halftime before watching Juventus pull to within 1 with :20 seconds remaining. On the inbound, Juventus’ Rashaun Broadus (BYU) shook free from his defender for the game winning lay-in. Watch below:
Ryan Olander had 9 points/5 rebounds while Tyler Olander added 5/3 in a losing effort. Broadus led Juventus with 17 points/3 assists. Here are the complete stats for the Twin Towers through 18 games:
With 20 games remaining, #6 Siauliai must remain #8 or higher to advance to the LKL playoffs. Siauliai is off for a few days before returning to action January 17th against #9 Tonybet.
Here is a video compilation of the Top 10 plays of 2014, posted to the club’s Facebook fan page. Ryan Olander makes two appearances in the Top 10 at 19 seconds and 1:52.
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: