The opening day of the tournament was all about Lithuanian dominance here in Kuressaare, as the guests from the southmost Baltic State struck gold on all seven of their games.
Biggest win: Zalgiris-Juta – 52 points (77-25 vs Kekava)
Top scorer: Mindaugas Gelzinis (Kedainiu SKK) – 23
Top rebounder: Ramunas Sniurevicius (Kedainiu SKK) – 19
Top assister: Peedu Peedaru (Top Triust) – 9
In the tournament’s opening game, Kedainiai snatched a 54-32 victory against Tukums in the M65/M70 age category. Led by the duo of Jonas Zizliauskas, who dropped 14 points, and Edmnundas Narmontas, who had 12 points and 9 boards, the Lithuanians had no trouble running off with a double-digit lead in the second quarter. Kazimirs Nekrass was the stand-out performer for Tukums, as he finished with 10 points and 6 rebounds.
Vilniaus Senjorai also had a strong start to the tournament, taking an easy, 75-50 win over Latvian side Garkalne in the M55 category’s first game. Arvydas Venclovas had a solid showcase, filling the boxscore with 21 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists. Arnoldas Masalskis was also impressive for the Lithuanians, putting up 16 points and 5 rebounds. For Garkalne, Gunars Mednis did the heavy lifting, as he fitted a double-double of 20 points and 11 rebounds to his name. Ziedonis Jansons and Igors Lukis had 13 and 10, respectively.
The day’s biggest blow-out was handed by Zalgiris Juta to Kekava, as the Lithuanians secured a 77-25 win in a total lockdown of a defensive performance in the M60 category. Virginijus Mazonas scored 22 points and dished out 6 dimes for his team, while Vytautas Ribinskas added 18 points, 5 rebounds and 8 assists. Eugenijus Kaziliunas and Gediminas Maumevicius finished up with 15 and 10 points, respectively. On the other side, there weren’t too many positives, but Andris Eglitis play stood out as one of the few bright spots.
In the only game where Lithuanians weren’t involved, Top Trust managed to sneak away with a win against Kisis/Suomi in the M55 category, forcing the Finns to surrender, 55-29. Three players reached double-digit scoring for the victors, as Raoul Jakobson led the way with 14. Ermil Kudkepp added 11, while Riho Kivimae had 10. Peedu Pedaru was flirting with a triple-double all evening long, as he finished the game with 9 points, 9 rebounds and 9 assists. Antti Aurila was the scoring leader for Kisis/Suomi, as he finished with 9 points, while both Jari Salmi and Paavo Tikkanen had 8.
In Kedainiu SKK’s 18-point (54-36) victory over Riga in the M40 age category, two nightly records were set – Mindaugas Gelzinis dropped 23 points, while Ramunas Sniurevicius helped him out with 6 points, 4 assists and a whopping 19 rebounds. For Riga, Ivars Epners had 10 points and 7 boards, as Normunds Nedaskovskis had 8.
Tukums had no success in the M50 category, either, losing to Kauno LT United, 31-70. Uldis Horeliks carried most of the scoring for the losing side, as he dropped 12 points. The Kaunas side enjoyed a more well-rounded performance from its players, as Giedrius Peciulionis led the way with 16. Sigitas Birutis added 14 points and 6 rebounds, while Ramunas Laurinaitis ended up with 12.
Tukums’ ladies came close to an upset in the W40 group, but ended up losing against SKK Versan, 35-43. Lina Grite had a terrific performance for the winning side, scoring 18 points and tearing down 8 rebounds. Renata Radisauskaite added 10. For Tukums, Sanita Netlava had a dozen.
Top Trust faced off against Kisis/Suomi for the second time, this time in the M60 age category. The game went right down to the wire, as the Finns managed to scrape by and secure a nail-biting 41-44 victory. Antti Vihavainen led Kisis/Suomi in scoring with 16 points, as Jori Tammi and Jukka Sievinen finished up with 12 and 10 points, respectively. They also had 8 rebounds each. Raivo Urva had 12 points and 7 rebounds for Top Trust, Andrus Toom added 11, while Rein Kiudsoo ended the game with 10.
In the final game of the night, the star-studded Pakruojo Parketas side managed to ward off Ventspils in the M45 category, winning easily, 81-56. The Pakruojis side had an impactful performance from Eligijus Redeckas, who dropped 22 points and 7 assists. Erikas Kuciauskas was impressive with 21 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists, while Rolandas Matulis finished up with 19. Rolandas Skaisgirys ended the game with 11 points. For their opponents, Aigars Bernats had a terrific night scoring the ball, as he dropped 10-of-13, including 2-of-3 from behind the arc for a total of 22 points and 7 rebounds. Ugis Lasmanis chipped in with 8 points and 9 boards.