The last day of the Nike International Junior Tournament in Belgrade started again quite early at 9.30am. The game for the 7th place was the opener for us on Sunday while we foresaw to also check out Vasilije Micic in the Serbian League game between Mega Vizura Zemun and Metalac.
The game between ALBA Berlin and USK Future Stars from Prague was quite interesting for the fact that it was played that early and with no real impact. ALBA had prepared a specific defensive structure to stop the Czech PG Vladimir Nemcok which worked not too bad but the Germans struggled on the other hand to limit the impact of Martin Peterka who finished with 17 points, 18 rebounds, 6 assists and 2 steals. Ismet Akpinar had his best game of the tournament with 30 points nd 34 ranking points. ALBA went ahead during the game but lost the control in the final quarter and could not create a shot on the buzzer to tie the game.
The game for the third place was certainly the best of the NIJT Finals day. INSEP playing without Damien Inglis had a really bad start against Partizan and trailed by nearly 20 points in the first quarter. But when the French team got used to play without their ball-dominating top star, they found solutions in team play and defense which put Partizan in trouble. Charly Pontens took over the leader role with 33 points and 10 drawn fouls while Stephane Gombauld did his part of the work with 13 points and 6 rebounds. Vasilije Pusica showed his class again with 14 points, 8 assists and 3 steals but he could not avoid the defeat of his team for the third place in the tournament.
The Final looked decided right from the start as Crvena Zvezda had not really seen any competition throughout the event. Even a quick injury by Brano Djukanovic did not change anything and the defending champions cruised to an easy victory. Nobody really stood out for the winners in a great team effort with multiple players in double-figures. Marko Guduric, the ideal image of this team effort finished with 15 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists and a great defense on Rade Zagorac. Dusan Ristic had 21 points and 7 rebounds while Nikola Rebic finished with 17 points and 5 assists. For Mega Vizura, Nikola Jokic had 18 points but only 3 rebounds while Zagorac had 13 points but shooting 5/16 from the field.
Belgrade NIJT All-Tournament Team
- Nikola Rebic (Crvena Zvezda)
- Vasilije Pusica (Partizan Belgrade)
- Damien Inglis (INSEP)
- Nikola Jokic (Mega Vizura)
- Dusan Ristic (Crvena Zvezda) – MVP
After the tournament, I made the short trip to Zemun to follow a Serbian League game featuring one of the most promising guards in the continent. The 1994 born Vasilije Micic was not really impressed by the presence of multiple NBA Scouts and ran his offense to perfection finishing with 15 points, 8 assists, 4 rebounds and only 1 turnover in 31 minutes played on a very high rhythm. Next to Micic, 1992 born Marko Lukovic showed some interesting things while Nemanja Dangubic was a bit more quiet. Andrija Bojic showed his scoring talent coming off the bench. I will go into more details on the different players in an upcoming scouting report. Mega Vizura won the game against Metalac in a quite impressive way, mainly driven by the monstrous effort of 2m20 giant Boban Marjanovic who finished with 23 points and 20 rebounds.