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Ainars Bagatskis returns to Valmiera, Bakken Bears host Start Lublin

Tuesday, January 16, arrives with two games in Latvia and Denmark. Valmiera Glass ViA will face CSO Voluntari, while the Bakken Bears Aarhus will host Polski Cukier Start Lublin.

Valmiera Glass ViA vs CSO Voluntari

Series history: Valmiera Glass ViA and CSO Voluntari will face each other for the first time.

Ainars Bagatskis was a coach of BK Valmiera in 2007-2009.

He posted a 13-9 record in his first regular season with the Vidzeme club and lost the quartefinal series against VEF Rīga, 0-2.

A year later BK Valmiera improved to a 17-9 record in the regular season but lost the quarterfinal series against VEF, 1-2.

BK Valmiera folded in 2017.

Key matchup: Seneca Knight is the top scorer for Valmiera in the ENBL.

He averages 20.3 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.7 assists.

Guard Edmunds Elksnis has 11.2 points and 4.9 assists.

Five Voluntari players average 10 or more points in the ENBL.

Trevon Allen leads the way with 17.6 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2.4 assists.

National championships: Valmiera Glass ViA are 1-2 in 2024, including a 79-86 home loss against Kalev/Cramo Tallinn on January 12.

Oskars Virsis men won the Latvian Cup road game at Rīgas Zeļļi, 85-79, and lost the ENBL road game at Basket Brno, 74-90.

Return game against Rīgas Zeļļi is scheduled on January 20.

Valmiera Glass ViA are 0-2 at home in the ENBL.

CSO Voluntari are 11-4 at the Romanian championship.

They are in the second place behind EuroCup team Cluj Napoca (15-0).

CSO Voluntari played last three games on the road.

They won at Timisoara, 86-78, lost at Dinamo Bucharest, 70-76, and prevailed at Targu Jiu, 100-67.

Ainars Bagatskis men have a 4-0 streak in the ENBL.

CSO Voluntari are 2-1 on the road in the ENBL.

Know your referees

Crew chief: Anna Belousova (Latvia) – FIBA referee from 2019; first female referee from Latvia in the European Women`s Basketball league (EWBL) Final Four; first female referee from Latvia at the Pafbet Estonia and Latvia league.

Umpire 1: Matei-Stelian Banica (Romania) – Top division in Romania from 2020; a potential FIBA referee; has worked at the Romanian finals for men and women.

Umpire 2: Juris Brūveris (Latvia) – one of the most experienced referees in Latvia; has worked at the EWBL 2021 final.

Observer: Mareks Voļskis (Latvia).

ENBL access: follow the game on YouTube live stream

Bakken Bears Aarhus vs Polski Cukier Start Lublin

Series history: Bakken Bears Aarhus and Polski Cukier Start Lublin will face each other for the first time.

Key matchup: DeAndre Pinckney averages 23.0 points for the Bakken Bears.

Forward contributes with 8.0 rebounds and 1.3 assists.

Southern Mississippi standout shoots 79.5% from the two points line.

Liam O`Reilly averages 19.0 points for the Polski Cukier Start Lublin.

A former Gardner-Webb guard has 2.5 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 1.8 steals.

National championships: Bakken Bears are 15-1 in the Basketligaen.

Anders Sommer`s men are 4-0 in the 2024, including a 2-0 record in the Basketligaen.

They defeated the Svendborg Rabbits at home, 110-77, and Amager on the road, 107-69.

Bakken Bears are 4-0 in the ENBL, including one win on the home floor.

Polski Cukier Start Lublin are 9-7 at the PLK.

Four teams have a 10-7 record, placed from the third place to the sixth place.

Start played five of the last six PLK games on the road and posted a 2-3 record in the away games.

Lublin team lost at Twarde Pierniki Torun on January 4 and then suffered a 95-101 defeat at Spartak Pleven on January 9.

Start Lublin are 1-1 on the road in the ENBL.

Know your referees

Crew chief: Skirmantas Letukas (Denmark) – FIBA referee from 2021, Denmark Basketball highest leagues from 2017.

Umpire 1: Pawel Pacek (Poland) – PLK referee from 2022.

Umpire 2: Bo Bundgaard (Denmark) – FIBA referee 2010-2015; Basketligaen referee from 2002.

Observer: Oskars Lucis (Latvia).

ENBL access: follow the game on YouTube live stream


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