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Douai Tournament 2008: Saturday’s picks

June 28th, 2008 · No Comments

I arrived this morning in Douai, the city of the Giants for the 22nd edition of the Douai World Tournament. And here are short recaps of the games from this Saturday.

  • In the first game of the day, Israel destroyed Adidas Nations Africe with nearly 30 points. The Africans started the game in a zone defense which was immediately punished by the Israeli as they hit 4 three pointers to start the game. The first quarter continued in a total domination by the physically weaker Israeli guys. The 1st quarter ended 24-5. The game was then going on a bit and Israel finished this one easily to win 76-48. The main scorers for Africa was once again Mamadou Samb who had 20pts and 8 rebs. Africa that plays without a real PG struggled a lot against the aggressive defense by Israel, they lost a total of 28 balls. For Israel, Liran Moran did a great job from behind the arc where he hit 6 out of his 10 attempts to finish the game at a scoring high of 22pts in 27 minutes of play.
  • The second game of the day was a very close one between two of the most talented teams with some high potentials in their roster. Surprisingly, this was only for the places 5-8 of the tournament as both teams could have gone for the Final. But the results are the results. So it was Turkey that beat Lithuania 94-89 in a very nice game. The Turks, where Enes Kanter is present but not as dominating as during the AST (he got doubled on every touch), had a nice team effort with 4 scorers in double figures. They were led by their 1991 born scorer Can Mutaf who had 23pts, 6rebs, 3asts and 3stls. Deniz Kilicli came up with his unorthodox play only in the second half but had some very bad choices in his passes. For Lithuania, Donatas Motiejunas showed once again his incredible talent but could not win the game for the Greens. He got some support by the surprisingly athletic Gilvydas Biruta who scored 14pts in just 15 minutes.
  • In the first semi-final, Germany got beaten easily by a Team USA that dominated the paint with ease. The German big guys seemed heavily afraid in the beginning of the game and so the semi was decided after Quarter 1 (20-7). The Germans did well during several minutes after the break when they were more aggressive on defense, but they could never come back in the game. Maurice Stuckey was still the best scorer of the team as he was not afraid to go scoring against the bigs. The Urspring guard who came of the bench had 18pts (6/17 FG) together with 3rebs 4asts and 3stls. For Team USA, big guy Kenny Frease scored 14 and grabbed 14 impressive rebounds while the tiny PG Nic Wise topped all the scorers with 22.
  • The second semi-final saw France beating Coratia in a thriller 75-73. The game did not look like it was going to be close as Croatia directly started with a 9-0 in the first minute. But an incredible 28-2 run by the French changed the game completely. However, the Croats managed to come back in the game and have a chance to win it on the buzzer but the shot from Toni Prostran was too short. France was led by the surprising Jonathan Bourhis who scored 22pts. For Croatia, which plays without Tomislav Zubcic, Mario Delas had 17pts and 7rebs while Sven Smajlagic scored 21pts, had 6rebs and 5asts.
  • The three point contest has been won by the Israeli Rub Omer with 10pts in the Final against the French PG Jonathan Bourhis.
  • The level of the tournament this year is correct. Unfortunately, the system of the groups forced a team like Lithuania to play now for the last place despite being probably one of the most talented squads. On the other hand, Germany was not really a semi-final team but had won the games the had to win.
  • Because of the NBA Draft, not a lot of NBA teams were present in Douai. We just saw one team represented and several NCAA and European scouts but in general, less than the years before.
  • We heard from sources that the French coaching staff was not motivated to reach the Final because they have booked (as only team) their return tickets to Paris for tomorrow night. The player however won the game and now the coaches asked to advance the Final for half an hour in order to catch their train. I don’t know if that will happen. We will have more on this incredible story tomorrow.

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