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Basketball League

MVP of November – Rinalds Sirsniņš


Rinalds Sirsniņš. Foto: Renars Kors.

The victory march of BK “Ogre” - 13 victories in Pafbet Latvian-Estonian Basketball League games - has given the team not only the 1st place in tournament table but also the second MVP title in a row. In October it was team forward Kristaps Dārgais, but this month journalists, fans and opponents have voted for point guard and team captain Rinalds Sirsniņš. He helped the team to get all 6 victories in November by playing on average 24 minutes, scoring 16 points, giving 9,2 assists (leader of the league) and EFF – 20,8.

Do you feel as good as “Ogre” looks on the tournament table?


Actually – yes, haven’t feel this good in a long time. Both physically and mentally. I’m playing with a big confidence and the team is winning– this is the beginning of the season I don’t think we have ever had yet. 


Is this the result of hard work or successful match of circumstances?


More likely the first one. A lot of work is being invested by both the team's coaching collective and physical therapist Kristīne. Head coach Nikolajs Mazurs has brought in new breezes, drowning out details. It’s not like I have started to run faster or shoot better – it’s the little things you do in a slightly different way to achieve better effect. In fact, team core is playing together already 3rd season – I know what Rihards (Zēbergs) will do next, where Jānis (Pozņaks) will run. All these things together give the result.


What’s changed in your training process and personal life?


There are no radical changes in the preparation process, but the older you are, the more you have to take care of your body. That’s what I’m trying to do. I have started to study at the College of Business Administration - to not to be like a white sheet at the end of my career as a basketball player.


You really showed off your ability to compete against the best teams in the region in the Final4 tournament in April, but still missed out on medals…


Yes, but we won medals in the Latvian championship by giving sweet revenge to “Jūrmala”. We want to win always, but if the result would be opposite – medals in Tallinn and failure in Latvian championship – the sadness would be much bigger. Although we lost twice in Tallinn in the end of the game, we got the confidence that we can fight with “Ventspils” and “Kalev/Cramo”. At the time, we were still on the field as the “second number”, this season we’re playing as the same strength opponents.


Without confidence, it probably would not be possible to beat the two teams just mentioned. Now watching from the side, it looks like you’re playing with a confidence that victory will come, even if the first half of the game is not that good. How does it look from the “inside”?


The same. There is a positive confidence in your own and whole team strength that does not grow in to self-confidence. We try to prepare very serious for each game.


Which game is the most memorable for you?


The victory against “Kalev/Cramo”, when in the very last seconds of the game I scored 3-point shot, tied the game and we won in the overtime. And of course, the opening game against “Jūrmala” when we came back and won in the last minutes of the game.


In BK “Ogre” you have played with Mārcis Vīrols and Edgars Lasenbergs, who have taken the next step in their careers after successful seasons. Coincidence?


Healthy competition in trainings is good and I hope both Mārcis and Edgars have learned something from me. I’m glad they are stepping up – I would do the same at their age. This year, an equally productive collaboration has been established with James Beatmon and Nikolajs Zotovs. In trainings we help each other to become better and the team only benefits from it.


Last year you celebrated first bronze medal in Latvia. What will be the joy at the end of this season?


Any medal, but the goal is the highest. The good start of the season has not been misleading, but we all know that the most important things happen in the spring – at the end of the season.
Until then, there will be plenty of time and games to test how prepared we are physically and, above all, mentally. I hope we keep the level up.


The pressure is going up?

The management of the club is very understanding, first of all not asking for victories, but fight for every centimeter of the field, which also attracts spectators. I’m glad that they are so many.
But there is increasing pressure from the press, including opponents - every team is now trying to hand our first loss.




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