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Today’s picks (live from Berlin)

May 1st, 2009 · No Comments

The second day of the Nike International Junior Tournament is in the books. Everything looks like it is going to be a Final between FMP Belgrade and Lietuvos Rytas. But both teams need another win to be for sure in the O2 World on Sunday.

  • Union Olimpija is still winless in Berlin after their loss by 20 points against Lietuvos Rytas today. The Wildcard team looks like the weakest team in the tournament right now despite the presence of Mirza Sarajlija. However, the guard sensation from Slovenia who hit 6 out of 11 three today, is still recovering from his recent injury. For the Lithuanians, it was Jonas Valanciunas who had a good game with 23pts and 11rebs while yesterday’s top player Osvaldas Matulionis was limited to three units.
  • Hemofarm Stada Vrsac overcame the winners of the Stella Azzurra tournament Gran Canaria in a game that saw the domination of the Serbian forward Nemanja Knezevic. The 1992 born player, that may have a limited upside scored at will against a Gran Canaria defense that used several players on him, but could never stop him. He got some all-around support by Petar Lambic, another 1992 prospect from the Vrsac team. Oscar Alvarado got fouled 15 times which may be a new record for the NIJT history but it was not enough to lead his team to a win.
  • FMP totally destroyed a poor Unicaja Malaga team. For FMP, you could see the talent of the 1993 born PG and recent Jordan Brand Classic MVP Nenad Miljenovic who scored 13 points.
  • The last game of the day saw another good performance by the short ALBA Berlin team against Montepaschi Siena who killed the Germans in the paint. But the performance of the day was coming from the ALBA side where SF Niels Giffey had an impressive 39 efficiency points. It was maybe the presence of German NT coach Dirk Bauermann that pushed the versatile forward to score 27 points, grad 12 rebounds while adding 3 assists and 3 steals. He got some surprising support from big man Friedrich Lotze with some ugly looking but netting base line jumpers. For Montepaschi, the two 1992 born Tomaso Ingrosso and Nunzio Sabbatino won the game for the Italians with some important buckets and Nika Metreveli did his job in the paint.

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