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Next Round Schedule

Round 15 (Regular Season)

P.Zvaigzdes 56% Jan.25 Valmiera
Jekabpils 62% Jan.25 Tarvas
Jurmala Jan.25 Nevezis 58%
BK Ogre Jan.25 TTU 56%
Barons Riga 88% Jan.25 Barsy Atyrau
Liepaja/Trio Jan.23 Barsy Atyrau 51%
Janis Berzins - Only hard work can bring success - Feb 6, 2013


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Janis
Berzins

BBL.net sat down with Latvian prospect Janis Berzins (202-F-93, agency: Players Group), who snatched up the Player of the Month honors for the month of January to talk about his improving game and the upsurge of Valmiera in the Top 16 round.

Having become the youngest player to claim the award this season, the 19-year-old forward from Latvia was happy about the opportunity to be playing big minutes in Valmiera, but acknowledged that there is still a long road ahead to success.

First of all, congratulations on winning the award. What do you think has been the main key to the improvement for you personally and the team as the whole in the month of January?

Thanks for the congratulations. It's a real honour for me. I didn't earn this award alone and these congratulations must be directed to the entire team. It would be impossible without my teammates and the coach, who put effort in order to succeed. We look to every game as it will be our last one - we don't sort opponents and prepare ourselves to fight at the highest level all the time. January in BBL was successful. I would like to point out the victory against one of the top Lithuanian team Siauliai on the home court. This win was big and emotional.

You finished the regular season on a quite bad stretch, but managed to take the first two games in the Top 16. Is this going to be a boost of extra confidence for the team?

I must agree - the first round was really tough. Every team in BBL is competitive and must be respected. The weekend when we succeeded in both games over Sakalai and Siauliai was terrific. We are young team and such victories increase the level of confidence to keep winning streak alive.

What were the goals for the team coming into the season? Now, that you started the second round very well, how far do you think you can go in BBL?

The goals before the season were to be one of the top 8 teams in BBL, but primarily qualify for the next round and fight for the medals in the Latvian Basketball League. Currently, we are on the right track and both personally and team-wise, we will do all it takes to reach the goals.

How would you describe yourself as a player? What would you name as your strengths and weaknesses?

I have always thought that the most objective evaluation can be given from people aside - it's difficult to assess myself. From my point of view, I feel comfortable in offensive basketball and during the season I have worked hard to improve my defensive skills. I am looking forward to find the right balance in order to be equally productive on offense and on defense. I still have to work a lot to become a great basketball player.

You did not have a big role with VEF last season, during the summer you played behind Janis Timma and Ojars Silins in the U20 national team. Are you enjoying being one of the key players on the team?

First of all, regarding to my previous season on VEF Riga roster, I gained a lot of experience. Even though my playing time was limited, during my minutes on court and in the training process against such a great sparing partners as Kristaps Janicenoks, Sandis Valters and Gatis Jahovics, I learnt a lot. It is immeasurable. Furthermore, I truly appreciate the help and advice from coaches Ramunas Butautas and Nikolajs Mazurs.

Regarding to U20 performance, we ended up in a high 6th place in the European Championship. In such championship, I was a year younger than the majority of players and my role was to be back up player for Janis Timma. I am thankful to coach Roberts Stelmahers for trusting me in clutch episodes. My personal opinion is I didn't show my best and it motivates to work even harder. Furthermore, I enjoyed coach Stelmahers' work and professionalism - I see him as one of the best new coaches in our region.

Would it be safe to say that the loan move to Valmiera was the right decision? How are you finding working with coach Krumins?

Personally, I think it was right move - VEF Riga is one of the leading teams in Eurocup and regarding to current roster my playing time could have been limited. Mutually with the boards of VEF Riga and BK Valmiera, we agreed that playing a significant role in BBL and LBL would be the best for my development. Furthermore, Varis Krumins is professional coach for young players - it was an important aspect of making my decision.

What are your plans for the nearest future - will you be looking to come back to VEF and crack the rotation or are there other thoughts on your mind?

Right now, I don't want to focus on such thoughts. The most important thing right now is to concentrate to every game and work hard at practices in order to reach goals. I will be happy to discuss right after the season.

What are those goals you set yourself for a long-term perspective?

As every player, I have set the highest goals for myself, but I will keep it as secret. In order to succeed, I must work really hard. I am ready to do all it takes and it is the most important thing. Only hard work and the right attitude can bring you success.

\

Interview original retrieved: bbl.net, Author: Simonas Baranauskas   



Nikola
Vujovic
Nikola Vujovic claims Baltic League weekly honour - 1 day ago
Serbian Nikola Vujovic (210-C-93) had a great game in the last round for TTU and that's him to receive a Eurobasket.com Player of the Week award for round 14. The 23-year old center had a double-double of 19 points and thirteen rebounds, while his team beat COR-Borisfen (#14, 0-12), the league's bottom-ranked team 108-97. The game was not the highest importance and did not have significant influence on top of the standings. TTU maintains the 12th position in Baltic League . TTU is a typic...   [read more]

Ryan Cook
Round 14 of Regular Season - 2 days ago
Kazakhstan Barsy Atyrau (2-8) survived in overtime against Estonian Rapla (8-4) by two points 86-84 on Thursday night. The game took place in Rapla. But the guests from Atyrau were better at the end. The best player for the winners was Ryan Cook who scored 17 points and 9 rebounds. Barsy Atyrau's coach used an eleven-player rotation in such tough game. Defending Kazakhstan champion maintains seventh position with 2-8 record. Rapla at the other side keeps the third place with four games lo...   [read more]

Mihkel
Kirves
Baltic League round 13 best performance: Mihkel Kirves - 9 days ago
Forward Mihkel Kirves (190-F-96) put on an extraordinary performance in the last round for Parnu, receiving a Eurobasket.com Player of the Week award for round 13. The 20-year old player had a double-double of 28 points and 13 rebounds, while his team crushed Liepaja/Triobet (#5, 4-6) with 18-point margin 93-75. Parnu maintains the 6th position in Baltic League . Too late to improve their position as they are currently ranked such low. They already lost 8 games and recorded just three vic...   [read more]


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Baltic League Standings
Group A
 1 Barons Riga 9-2 
 2 Nevezis 8-3 
 3 Rapla 8-4 
 4 Jurmala 5-6 
 5 Liepaja/Triobet 5-7 
 6 Parnu 3-9 
 7 Barsy Atyrau 2-9 
Group B
 1 P.Zvaigzdes 10-1 
 2 Valmiera 9-2 
 3 Jekabpils 7-4 
 4 BK Ogre 5-6 
 5 TTU 5-6 
 6 Tarvas 3-8 
 7 COR-Borisfen 0-12 
Full Standings
Stats Leaders
Points Per Game
 Trevin PARKS
  Barsy Atyrau
  (180-PG-91)
  Avg: 21.6
 1. Parks, Barsy Atyrau21.6 
 2. Baker, Tarvas20.3 
 3. Jarvelainen, TTU19.6 
 4. Volkus, Parnu17.9 
 5. van der Mars, Rap.17.5 
 6. Petrileviciu., Nevez.16.8 
 7. McMullan, Liepaja/.16.2 
 8. Olmre, TTU15.5 
 9. Berzins, Valmiera15.0 
 10. Laksa, Valmiera14.3 
Rebounds Per Game
 Thomas VAN DER MARS
  Rap.
  (208-C-90)
  Avg: 11.9
 1. van der Mars, Rap.11.9 
 2. Krestinin, Barons R.11.0 
 3. Selakovs, Jekabpils9.6 
 4. Kirves, Parnu9.2 
 5. Baker, Tarvas8.8 
 6. Aleksejevs, Jekabpils8.6 
 7. Montgomery, Liepaja/.8.3 
 8. Jonats, Valmiera7.9 
 9. Jarvelainen, TTU7.1 
 10. Rozitis, Liepaja/.6.9 
Assists Per Game
 Toni PROSTRAN
  Nevezis
  (182-G-91)
  Avg: 8.6
 1. Prostran, Nevezis8.6 
 2. Griffin, Liepaja/.7.2 
 3. Jeromanovs, Jurma.6.2 
 4. Post, Tarvas5.7 
 5. Sirsnins, Jekabpils5.7 
 6. Low, P.Zvaigzdes5.4 
 7. McMullan, Liepaja/.5.3 
 8. Babkauskas, P.Zvaigz.4.9 
 9. Larson, Barons Riga4.8 
 10. Plavnieks, BK Ogre4.7 
Steals Per Game
 Malcolm GRIFFIN
  Liepaja/.
  (193-G-91)
  Avg: 2.5
 1. Griffin, Liepaja/.2.5 
 2. Kamarunas, COR-Bori.2.3 
 3. Parks, Barsy Atyrau2.3 
 4. Jeromanovs, Jurma.2.1 
 5. Baker, Tarvas2.0 
 6. Olmre, TTU2.0 
 7. Pollard, Liepaja/.1.8 
 8. Kabin, Parnu1.8 
 9. Paiste, Tarvas1.8 
 10. Cook, Barsy Atyrau1.8 
Blocks Per Game
 Nikita BALASHOV
  P.Zvaigz.
  (207-F-91)
  Avg: 1.2
 1. Balashov, P.Zvaigz.1.2 
 2. Agafonov, P.Zvaigz.1.2 
 3. Engstrom, Nevezis1.0 
 4. Bubalo, Parnu1.0 
 5. van der Mars, Rap.1.0 
 6. Selakovs, Jekabpils0.9 
 7. Blaus, Valmiera0.9 
 8. Niedra, BK Ogre0.9 
 9. Rozitis, Jurmala0.9 
 10. Antrops, BK Ogre0.8 
Player of the Week

 Nikola Vujovic
  TTU
  ( 210-C-100-93 )
  
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