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  • Writer's picturemarisnoviks

Tartu Ülikool Maks & Moorits: resilience and play-offs in every tournament

Tartu University is having a great season: the Estonian team have qualified for the play-offs in every tournament.

Mazurs effect

Tartu started the season with six straight losses in the Pafbet Estonia and Latvia league.

After the first five misses the club parted the ways with head coach Toomas Kandimaa.

The turning point came on November 8, 2021 when club signed a 1+1 deal with experienced Latvian coach Nikolajs Mazurs.

Bauska native stepped in with one win in five games but posted a 11-5 record the rest of the way.

Tartu University won the Estonian Cup (Superkarikas) on December 20, 2021.

Mazurs team prevailed over TalTech in the semifinal and registered a 82-73 upset win over Kalev/Cramo in the final.

Tartu finished the regular season with three wins over Latvian champs – VEF Rīga (93-86), Valmiera (75-61) and Ventspils (83-63).

The Estonian team ended the regular season with a 12-14 record and secured the last ticket to the playoffs.

Mazurs men edged out AVIS Utilitas Rapla (1-1, +1). Tartu lost at home 94-98 but won on the road 83-78.

Tartu received the eighth seed and faced a top seed VEF Rīga in the best-of-three quarterfinal series.

The leaders

Emmanuel Wembi is the top scorer for Tartu.

Young American center averages 12,0 points and 8,9 rebounds.

Lenoir-Rhyne star dished out 2,3 assists and registered 1,6 steals for a team high efficiency rating of 18,2.

Three more Tartu players finished in double figures.

Braxton Huggins averages 11,5 points. Adomas Drungilas has 10,6 points and Mart Rosenthal – 10,1 points.

Four more Tartu players average 7,6 or more points – Hendrik Eelmae, a newcomer from Ukraine – Oleksandr Kovliar, Oliver Suurorg and Edmunds Elksnis.

Huggins joined the team in late January and has proved himself as a top level asset.

Bakersfield, California native played for the New Mexico State (2014-2017) and Fresno State (2018-2019).

Shooting guard averaged 18,5 points and 4,3 rebounds in his lone campaign with the Bulldogs.

Huggins started his professional career in the Netherlands, playing for Leiden (2019-2020).

He became the leader of KTP Basket, averaging 20,4 points and 3,7 assists in the Finnish league (2020-2021).

Final Four 2022

Wednesday, April 6, semifinals

16:30 Šiauliai/7bet – Basket Brno

19:00 Anwil Wloclawek – Tartu Ulikool Maks&Moorits

Thursday, April 7

16:30 Bronze medal game

19:00 ENBL final

Follow the ENBL

Facebook: @ENBLeague

Twitter: @ENBLeague

Instagram: @enbleague


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