Students ready to defend Valmiera in the Latvian-Estonian joint basketball league
In the new season, the strongest basketball teams of Latvia and Estonia will compete in a joint championship, in which the city of Valmiera will be represented by Valmiera Glass/Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences basketball team. Under the guidance of the coach, Robert Zeile, the core of the last year’s team is preparing for the season.
It will be the seventh season with Valmiera Glass/Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences for its long-time player Oto Grīnbergs. The 27-year-old striker, who stands at mighty 195 cm, has helped the team move from the LBL Division 2 newbies to become one of the league's leading teaks. With his performance, Grīnbergs is rightly considered to be one of the team’s symbols, which will help Valmiera’s student team to take the next step in the country's high-level tournament. Last year Grīnbergs played 27 games, with an average of 10.2 points and 6.6 rebounds below the rim.
Striker, Jānis Engers, will be part of the team for the third season. The 2 meter tall player who is 23-year-old has an impressive experience in the Latvian Basketball League, Engers has spent five seasons playing for "Valmiera" and "University of Latvia". In the last season, the athletic striker accumulated an average of 11.2 points and 5.2 rebounds below the rim in 37 battles in the LBL 2nd Division Championship.
Captain, Klāvs Dubults, who will be with "Valmiera Glass/Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences" for the fourth season, will be guarding the basket. Last year, the 22-year-old and 202cm tall centre player celebrated the best year in his career to date with an average of 14.5 points and 8.4 rebounds below the rim, which was the best score in this statistic category. Dubults was also the best at securing warnings, making opponents violate the rules in the game 4,2 times. It should be noted that Dubults, along with Engers, have earned the status of "Iron Men" for being the only players who participated in all 37 team games.
Game play leader, Toms Kohanovs, who is 21 years old and stands at 193cm will play in Valmiera for the fourth season. He was the main conductor of the "Valmiera Glass/Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences" last season, with an average of 4.6 performance booties, complemented with 10.2 points earned. It should also be noted that Kohanovs, with an accuracy of 39.6% of distance throws, was the best triadic striker. In just one of the 35 away games, he did not participate in the starting team.
Ervīns Ivanovs will also be with the team for the fourth season. Last year the 22-year-old and 188cm tall basketball player was one of the best three-point shooters in the team, sending 37.8% of the distance shoots to the basket and thus winning 10.6 points on average. Ivanovs intercepted 1,6 opponent balls.
Another player who has been the wolf of the Valmiera team for the fourth year is Reinis Ermansons. The 21-year-old and 198cm tall striker last season was one of the energy players, which most of the team's game intensified by engaging in a game upon a changeup. Ermanson's average statistics reached 8.5 points and 4.3 rebounds.
Last year, Valters Liepiņš, 20, experienced his debut with the team. The 196 cm tall striker spent a productive season, with an average score of 8.6 points and a 5.4 rebounds. Another team debutant last season was the 18-year-old head coach Elvis Brokāns, who moved from the LBL3 League team to LBL Division 2 in the second half of the season, having managed to take in 13 games where Brokāns succeeded in reaching 2.5 points and 1.9 passes.
In the new season Valmiera’s colours will also be represented by Renārs Apsītis, who is preparing for the fourth season in the ranks of the team. The 22-year-old was injured in the last season, which meant the player could only participate in 12 games, in which the 193cm player scored 2.1 points. Also, the centre reserve, Māris Riekstiņš, could not stay the whole season due to injuries. The 23-year-old, 208cm player gained a total of 4.3 points in 20 games and won 3.9 rebounds under the rim.
With this ten-player core "Valmiera Glass/Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences" is preparing for the new season. Valmiera's favourites will be announced in the coming weeks, which will protect Valmiera's honour in the fight against Latvian and Estonian teams.