European Prospects

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Adidas Next Generation Kaunas: Day 1

January 16th, 2015 · No Comments

The third tournament of the newly names Adidas Next Generation tournament series is held in Kaunas these days. Let’s see what happened on the first day of the event.

FC Bayern – INSEP 51 – 71

Both teams looked a bit tired in the beginning as it was still quite early. Richard Freudenberg immediately took over the lead for the Germans while INSEP was dominating inside with Jonathan Jeanne. It took until the first rest of Freudenberg for INSEP to run away a little bit. During the second quarter, the French pressure defense was impressive against the Bayern guards who struggled to bring the ball over midcourt. Bayern however did not give up and came back below a 10 point deficit on a quick run before halftime. In the third quarter, Bayern could not do much to reduce the gap and Stephane Gombauld made a clear statement with a big dunk on Freudenberg in the break. Bayern tried to change the game by playing a bit of zone defense but Bathiste Tchouaffe nailed several threes and made it clear who will the opener.

MVP: Bathiste Tchouaffé 24pts (4/10 3FGs), 1reb, 3stls, 2asts

USK Future Stars – Zalgiris Kaunas 47 – 89

Zalgiris started well into the game finding Martynas Echodas continously in the paint for easy baskets. The Lithuanians ran away 16-4 after only 5 minutes but the Czechs stayed in the game when the substitutions started for the hosts. Zalgiris had another run to start the 2nd quarter when the Starters were back on the court while Ondrej Sehnal was the only one for USK to be able to produce something positive. The second half was yet another doination of the Lithuanian players where Echodas and Laurynas Birutis were reigning in the paint and Arnoldas Kulboka the scorer from outside.

MVP: Martynas Echodas 21pts (9/13 FGs – 3/9 FTs), 10rebs, 2stls

CSKA Moscow – Fenerbahce Ulker 49 – 98

Fenerbahce took an early lead by giving the  ball inside to their big guy Omer Yurtseven who scored 6 of their first 10 points. Then the Turkish train rolled over CSKA so that they were up 27 points at half. The second half did not show anything new, the Turks continued their domination. The 15 year old Ahmet Duran was impressive in the paint where he grabbed nearly every available rebound while Egehan Arna distributed the ball beautifully.

MVP: Egehan Arna 31pts (10/13 2FGs – 3/8 3FGs), 4rebs, 9asts, 6stls, 1blk

Lietuvos Rytas – VEF Riga 61 – 83

Both teams looked balanced in the beginning of the game with the scoring coming from their respective top scorers in Rodions Kurucs for VEF and Jokubas Svambaris for Lietuvos Rytas. Svambaris created shots in an impressive way and kept his team in the game like that. As Arnas Berucka took better care of Kurucs on the defensive end, the Lithuanians moved ahead during the second quarter with better team play and good defense. The difference remained around the 5 point mark so that Rytas was up 39-33 at halftime. VEF started better into the second half and took over the lead with 5 minutes to play in Q3 on the third three-pointer of Eduards Hazniers. The Latvians increased their lead to 6 points behind the good effort of Verners Kohs on both ends of the court before the last 10 minutes. With Kurucs on the bench and the team driven by Kristers Zoriks, VEF went into a double-digit lead as Karlis Silins was finally able to convert the passes he got in the paint. Rytas had nothing to answer and Riga got a finally easy win.

MVP: Zigmars Raimo 14pts (5/13 FGs), 8rebs, 8asts

INSEP – USK Prague 69 – 50

USK Prague fought hard from the first second in order to stay in the game against INSEP. The French tried to use their size advantage by going inside but the Czech players knocked down some shots. INSEP used a quick run in the second quarter to get away by 10 points and managed this lead until halftime. Stephane Gombauld continued to dominate in the second half and helped his team to run away to an easy lead and an easy win finally.

MVP: Stephane Gombauld 25pts (10/14 2FGs – 0/4 3FGs), 8rebs, 5stls, 5asts

Zalgiris Kaunas – FC Bayern 99 – 64

Zalgiris struggled a bit in the beginning to take control of the game as the Bayern defense was present and Karim Jallow could make some shots. However, during the second par of the first quarter, the Lithuanian advantage in the paint allowed them to get a 6 point lead after 10 minutes. Echodas could not be controlled by the Bayern defense and it was him who kept Zalgiris in the lead. Luka Burkardt played well for Bayern and could make some plays that stabilized the difference around 5 points. Bayern even reduced the gap to 2 points 120 seconds before the break with Freudenberg and Jallow on the bench against a Zalgiris team that was far from the effort level they showed in the first game. However, the hosts had a short run to bring the score to 43-37 at halftime.

Zalgiris came out differently and immediately took control of the game. Bayern was unable to score and Echodas dominated on the offensive glass. Varnas scored several baskets and the difference was 18 points after 4 minutes. The game was done as the hosts increased their lead to 27 points before the last quarter.

MVP: Martynas Echodas 26pts (10/14 2FGs – 6/6 FTs), 9rebs, 3asts