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Adidas Next Generation Kaunas: Day 2

January 17th, 2015 · 1 Comment

The second day of the Adidas Next Generation Tournament looked to be a bit more exciting than Day 1 where all games ended with at least a 20 point difference. Let’s see what happened this Saturday in Kaunas.

Fenerbahce Ulker – Lietuvos Rytas 85 – 68

The game looked over quickly as the duo Egehan Arna and Omer Yurtseven dominated from the first second and gave the Turks a 20 points advantage in the first quarter. The Lithuanians only tried to score from outside and as their shots were not falling, the difference grew rapidly. Rytas started better into the second half with a more aggressive defense and finding Lukas Kvedaravicius inside. Fenerbahce managed the game for the remaining minutes and allowed Yurtseven to reach a historical stat line without playing their main prospects too many minutes.

MVP: Omer Yurtseven 33pts (13/19 2FGs – 1/3 3FGs), 16rebs, 4asts, 2stls, 4blks

CSKA Moscow – VEF Riga 77 – 87

VEF Riga started well into the game but CSKA Moscow turned it around after a quick timeout. Alexander Kurbatov had 12 points in the first quarter in the paint for the Russian team while the Latvian defense was not really there yet. VEF started the second quarter with a great fastbreak that Rodions Kurucs finished with an alley-oop dunk but Moscow remained present through Kurbatov who made 22 of the 39 Russian points of the first half. Riga came out hot and immediately started a run to take the lead and go ahead by 6 after 4 minutes. The Latvians had the game under control and increased their advance to 10 points before the last quarter. Zigmars Raimo continued to distribute the ball in a beautiful way from the wing and the favorites went to 2-0 before the big game versus Fenerbahce in the afternoon.

MVP: Rodions Kurucs 23pts (7/7 2FGs – 2/2 3FGs), 7rebs, 3stls, 4asts, 4blks, 6tos

FC Bayern – USK Prague 61 – 59

The two losers from the first day met in a game for the third place in their group and Bayern had the better start in the first quarter behind 8 points from Richard Freudenberg. The Czechs were driven again by Ondrej Sehnal who drew a good amount of fouls. Bayern managed their small lead to the halftime break with Karim Jallow taking care of Senhal. The third quarter was in favor of the Germans because their defensive rotations worked better and USK was unable to convert their open positions. Prague came back into the game in the last quarter on a 14-2 run so that it remained undecided who could get the win. The German made better decisions in the final seconds and secured their lonely win of the event.

MVP: Karim Jallow 11pts (5/9 2FGs), 1reb, 1stl, 3asts

INSEP – Zalgiris Kaunas 60 – 76

Zalgiris went to the inside to start the game with Martynas Echodas who threw down two big dunks on the French defense. INSEP was not really in their rhythm on offense but the entry of Luc Loubaki gave them more stability on the defensive end. The game was marked by the defenses of both teams and nobody was able to score that much after the initial exchanges so that Kaunas had a 18-9 lead on the first break. Bathiste Tchouaffé reduced the gap with several plays on the offensive end while Loubaki and Gregory Bengaber were present in the passing lanes for a 9-4 start. Zalgiris took back the control by finding Laurynas Birutis for a couple of baskets and created a 28-18 lead with 4 and half minutes to play in the first half. Echodas was impressive on the offensive glass and Timothé Vergiat kept INSEP in the game with his three-point shots. But Martynas Varnas put a needle in the French hearts with a buzzer beating three to bring his team up 42-26 at the half.

INSEP changed their starting lineup completely to go with a more defensive team. This worked quite well as they could reduce the gap a little bit on an 8-2 run. However, their foul trouble brought Zalgiris on the line too many times so that INSEP could not come back under the 10 point mark. But the return of Jonathan Jeanne and Stephane Gombauld increased their inside defense pressure so that the French could score in transition to be at 42-52 with 2 and half minutes to play in Q3. Both teams exchanged dunks and Vergiat showed he was in a good day with another triple that was answered by Zalgiris from the free-throw line to go for a 9 point difference before the final quarter. The Lithuanian team though was more ready and it was Mykolas Dieninis who lead his team with his aggressive plays against the French zone. INSEP managed to get the defensive rebounds on the multiple misses from outside of Zalgiris but they could not score in transition as expected. So the hosts were able to secure their advantage and advance to the final of the tournament.

MVP: Martynas Echodas 20pts (9/16 2FGs), 15rebs, 2asts

Lietuvos Rytas – CSKA Moscow 75 – 69

I did not follow the game.

MVP: Alexander Kurbatov (3/10 2FGs – 7/9 3FGs), 7rebs, 2stls, 3blks

VEF Riga – Fenerbahce Ulker 71 – 61

Both teams played on a high level to start the game. Rodions Kurucs showed his passing lane skills while Fenerbahce found Omer Yurtseven in the paint. VEF Riga managed to give Karlis Silins some good positions so he had to make Yurtseven work in defense. The entry of Verners Kohs gave the Latvians a good boost as he knocked down a couple of three-pointers while Ercan Bayrak tried to close the paint with his athletic presence. So Riga was up after the first ten minutes. The intensity on both ends of the court raised in the second quarter. The referees played their part of the game too by calling three technicals in a short span. But the players refocused quickly and it was once again Yurtseven who drove his team to a lead with his typical low post scores. Kurucs was defended better so he could not score that much anymore and Fenerbahce had the short 2 point lead at halftime.

The Turkish team could increase their advantage to nearly double-digits in the beginning of the second half. But Zigmars Raimo brought his team back after a short period on the bench with his atpyical game and passing. The bulky forward added a couple of baskets and VEF was back in the game with 1 minute to go in the quarter. Eduards Hazniers knocked down two threes in a row and Riga was up again but Bayrak ended the period with yet another put back. Kohs remained hot from behind the arc and scored two times in the first three minutes so that Riga was up by 4 quickly. The Turks started to struggle on offense as Egehan Arna did not have his usual impact on the game. Kurucs added another baseline drive and a dunk so that the difference was 8 with 4 minutes on the clock. The Latvians did not let Fenerbahce come back and qualified for the Final after an extremely entertaining game.

MVP: Rodions Kurucs 14pts (5/6 2FGs), 6rebs, 5stls, 2asts, 2blks

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