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  • Writer's picturemarisnoviks

Valmiera to face Šiauliai, Brno will host Liège

Updated: Dec 28, 2023

The last week of 2023 is here. The third day of Christmas is highlighted by a duel between Valmiera Glass ViA and Šiauliai, while Basket Brno will host Royal Liège Basket on Thursday, December 28.

Valmiera Glass ViA vs Šiauliai

Series history: Valmiera Glass ViA and Šiauliai will face each other for the second time. Šiauliai won the first game, 92-85, on February 2, 2022, at Vidzeme Olympic Center in Valmiera.

Key matchup: Guntis Sīpoliņš leads Valmiera in rebounds (9.5) and efficiency (18.0), while he is second in scoring with 12.4 points per game.

Sean Seneca Knight is the best scorer with 14.6 points per game.

Point guard Edmunds Elksnis averages 11.4 points and 5.0 assists.

Tomaš Pavelka has posted 13.6 points and 8.3 rebounds for Šiauliai.

Center leads Šiauliai in efficiency – 19.9.

Leonard Thorpe averages 12.3 points and 6.5 assists.

Paulius Danusevicius has scored 13.3 points.

Big man Shaquille Keith entered action on November 26.

National championships: Valmiera Glass ViA posted two wins in last four games at the Pafbet Latvia and Estonia league.

Oskars Virsis men won the home games against TalTech Optibet, 78-67, and Latvijas Universitāte, 67-53.

Valmiera lost the road game at Viimsi, 82-96, and four days ago suffered a home defeat against the 2023 champion Prometey, 71-91.

Šiauliai are 2-12 in the Lithuanian Basketball league.

The club parted ways with head coach Nikolajs Mazurs after a 66-103 loss against Uniclub Casino Juventus.

Mazurs had a 2-1 record with Šiauliai at the ENBL.

Latvian signed a 2+1 contract in summer.

Žydrūnas Urbonas took the coaching reins.

Urbonas started the season with KB Sigal Prishtina but recently returned home.

Know your referees

Crew chief: Andris Aunkrogers (Latvia) – FIBA referee from 2005, Basketball Champions league referee from 2016, has worked at the 2022 ENBL Final Four in Wloclawek.

Umpire 1: Eimantas Vasiliauskas (Lithuania) – started in Lithuanian third division more than 10 years ago, LKL referee from 2023.

Umpire 2: Mārcis Senkēvičs (Latvia) – one of the most experienced referees in Latvia; Latvian Top league from 2005, including Pafbet Latvia and Estonia league.

Observer: Oskars Lucis (Latvia).

ENBL access: follow the game on YouTube live stream

Basket Brno vs Royal Liège Basket

Series history: Basket Brno and Royal Liège Basket will face each other for the first time.

Key matchup: four Brno players average 10.0 or more points.

Ondřej Šiška (14.8 points) is followed by Gregory Edward Lee III (12.8), Tomas Zdanavičius (12.4) and Viktor Pulpan (10.3).

Šiška and Pulpan combine for 10.8 assists per game.

Emmanuel Lecomte leads Royal Liège Basket with 16.5 points and 4.0 assists.

Big man Kevin Tumba has 9.8 points and 11.3 rebounds.

National championships: Brno has a 9-8 record and seventh place at the Kooperativa NBL.

Four teams – Usti nad Labem, Dečin, Kolin and USK Praha have 10 wins and seven losses.

Opava is first with a 14-3 record, while Nymburk has one win less.

Basket Brno posted big home wins over Nymburk, 81-79, and Kolin, 77-72, but suffered a 73-93 setback against Keila few days later.

Brno is 0-4 at home in the ENBL.

Six teams from the Group B are in a play-off race and Royal Liège Basket is one of them.

Win at Brno may help to advance to a 4-1 record

Royal Liège Basket won its previous game at the BNXT league, defeating Hubo Limburg United on the road, 87-82.

Five teams – Spirou Basket, Kangoeroes Basket Mechelen, Brussels Basketball, House of Talents Spurs Kortrijk and Royal Liège Basket – have seven wins each.

Royal Liège Basket have a better win percentage than opponents.

Know your referees

Crew chief: Petr Nejezchleb (Czechia) – Kooperativa NBL referee, has worked at the Alpe Adria Cup.

Umpire 1: Tom De Lange (Belgium) – FIBA referee from 2017, Belgian top division from 2010; has worked at many Belgian finals, BNXT finals and Belgian Cup finals.

Umpire 2: Jaroslav Pazourek (Czechia).

Observer: Oskars Lucis (Latvia).

ENBL access: follow the game on YouTube live stream


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