After having watched some Olympic Games basketball with Lithuanian fans in a Irish in Riga (Latvia), I am now back in the Riga Arena to cover the Final day of the U20 European Championships of Division A.
- The first game of the day saw France beating Ukraine for the 7th spot. This was not very important but the game featured a tie of an All-European Youth Championship performance by Abdoulaye Mbaye who made 11 three pointers in the game to finish at 45 units. The run was impressive as he scored 7 three pointers out of 8 attempts only in the last quarter.
- The game for the 5th place was not really interesting either as Montenegro rolled over Italy. Vladimir Dasic confirmed himself being the top scorer of the tournament so far as he made 26 points in the final game for his team. He got some interesting scoring support by Nemanja Vranes. For the Italians, their usual scorer Pietro Aradori finished with 19 points.
- The game for Bronze Medal was a clear win for Spain who lead this one from the beginning on. Pere Tomas, Sergio de la Fuente and Victor Claver formed a great offensive triplet to go over a Turkish team that seemed at the end of its forces. Baris Hersek, the Turkish topscorer tried to help his team to win this one but its was not enough.
- The Final, that has been played in front of 4500 people (about 2000 fans from Lithuania) started with an impressive offensive festival. Both teams scored with high percentages and the level was amazing. In this first, it was all Milan Macvan for Serbia as the PF scored not less than 20pts , grabbed 4rebs and dished out 3asts in his 19 minutes. He got support from Marko Keselj, who scored two surprising dunks besides his typical other work which means hitting the open shots. Lithuania was driven by the multifunctional Donatas Motiejunas who worked well inside but was not lucky from the distance. But this was not only him as the whole Lithuanian squad netted only 1 out 9 three point attempts in the first 20 minutes. The third quarter started like yesterday where it was Sarunas Vasiliauskas who took over the scoring job. But the Serbians fought back and behind Mirorslav Raduljica came back to their previous lead. In the last quarter, the Lithuanians started to hit their shots and it was Martynas Gecevicius that brought the team back to 1 point with 6 minutes to play. However, the Serbian inside force of Raduljica and Macvan helped to increase their lead to 7 with 3 minutes on the clock. And during the final seconds of the game it was Marko Keselj who made the important plays to give Serbia another Gold Medal in Youth Competitions.
- My vote for the All Tournament Team was the following: Quino Colom (Spain), Martynas Gecevicius (Lithuania), Vladimir Dasic (Montenegro), Milan Macvan (Serbia) and Miroslav Raduljica (Serbia). My MVP vote was for Vladimir Dasic. It was very close to the official one which had Victor Claver in place of Milan Macvan.