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Today picks (Live from Rome)

December 29th, 2008 · 3 Comments

A very few picks live from the Stella Azzurra Tournament, the first Qualifying Event for the Nike International Junior Tournament that will be held in Berlin this year.

  • The two teams that are qualified for Berlin are known: Kalise Gran Canaria and Montepaschi Siena. The first ones overcame Zalgiris Kaunas by going for an impressive third quarter. Zalgiris came back to 3 points but could not handle to take the lead. Gran Canaria has a very interesting (foreign) frontcourt while Zalgiris looked a bit tired. Montepaschi Siena beat Virtus Bologna in the best game of the day behind a very nice team effort.
  • Benetton Treviso looked a bit like the biggest disappointment of the tournament.  Strange coaching decisions and an incapacity to give the ball to their 2m23 tall Maltese Center Samuel Deguara made them lose against the (for me surprising) hosts of Stella Azzurra.
  • Olimpija Ljubljana brought home an easy win over Benetton Fribourg but the result is somehow a disappointment for the Slovenian team that came to Italy to win it all. The Swiss on the other hand have a very interesting 1992 born guard rotation.
  • ALBA Berlin destroyed Marroussi defensively in the poorest game I saw today. The German team is one of the losers of the tournament system as they lost by only 2 to Stella Azzura which are now playing for the 5th spot. But the system is the same for everyone.
  • A lot more to come in the next days about this exciting tournament which is among the strongest of the three qualifying events.

3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Luis // Dec 31, 2008 at 9:47 am

    Honestly speaking, I don’t see that tournament being anyway close to L’Hospitalet.

    Just in Spain alone Unicaja should be stronger than Gran Canaria, and both Joventut and Real Madrid should give them a run for their money. And then we have the superpowerhouse FMP Zeleznik, or a Lietuvos Rytas team that looks visibly stronger than Zalgiris for this generation.

    The fact that two Italian teams made it to the semifinals is rather concerning indeed.

    However, you’ve been there, so you should know better than anybody else. We’re looking forward your comments on the best players.

  • 2 Christophe // Dec 31, 2008 at 5:15 pm

    @Luis
    I was maybe a bit tired when I wrote the remark about being among the strongest tournaments of the three. I did not really check the rosters of the two other tournaments yet. But that was the credo of several (Italian) observers that I spoke too during the days in Rome.

    The player descriptions will unfortunately only come online in the New Year

  • 3 Luis // Jan 8, 2009 at 10:50 am

    Well, L’Hospitalet wasn’t that strong afterwards, especially because Musli didn’t come and Zeleznik struggled a little bit. Still, I believe Lietuvos Rytas is better than any team from the Rome tourney (although that’s just an opinion).

    My ranking from L’Hospitalet would be:
    1. Lietuvos Rytas: very talented, well organized and incredibly aggressive team.
    2. Unicaja Malaga: talented and big, they play nicely as a team.
    3. DKV Joventut: talented team that lacks some inside presence
    4. FMP Zeleznik: they missed Musli and weren’t particularly dangerous from the perimeter, but they play nice basketball.
    5. Real Madrid: Nikola Mirotic.

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