European Prospects

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Today’s picks (live from Riga)

August 9th, 2008 · No Comments

After a first day in Riga, visiting the city and meeting some people, the tournament of the U20 European Championship beings for me today.

  • To start with, I wanted to check the games for the relegation to Division B. Greece totally destroyed there Georgia and managed to stay in the division. With a very nice team effort with 6 guys in double figures, coach Sigalas was happy to remain a Division A team that will feature next season the most talented of the promising 1990 generation. The second game of the relegation group was a closer one with Bulgaria beating Slovenia by 2 points but it was not enough to stay in the top level of the U20 group. Ivan Lilov and his 33pts, 5rebs, 7asts and 3stls could not put away enough advantage against a Slovenian team driven by his guards Boban Tomic and Mirko Mulalic.
  • The team of Montenegro with an impressive Vladimir Dasic destroyed the overwhelmed Ukrainians and will now play tomorrow for the 5th place against Italy who beat France. Dasic showed during the three quarters where he played his all-around skills and finished with 31pts in just 24 minutes of play. He got supported well by Sead Sehovic who scored 19. For Ukraine, the usual scorers Sergiy Gladyr and Oleksandr Kolchenko were off.
  • In the first semi-final of the tournament, Serbia was superior to Turkey who could not match the inside force of coach Klipa’s boys. Boban Marjanovic, Miroslav Raduljica and Milan Macvan combined for 52 points while Mladen Jeremic was hot from the three point line. Dogus Balbay was not really present and so it was Gökper Gen who took over the scoring in the back court while Baris Hersek did his job on the forward position.
  • The Lithuanian players encouraged their fans to come to Riga. So they came and supported their kids from the begin till the end.
  • In the awaited semi-final between Lithuania and Spain, the energy and revenge feeling was all around. Everybody on the court remembered the story of the fixed game between Lithuania and Serbia in the U18 European Championship 2007 in Madrid to kick out the local favorites. And so we saw the probably best game of the tournament so far. It was Martynas Gecevicius and his incredible shooting that helped the Lithuanians in the game in the first half where Victor Claver and Quino Colom where the guys for Spain. Pere Tomas managed to shut down Gecevicius in the third quarter and then Sarunas Vasiliauskas took over the game and gave the Lithuanians a lead that they did not let slip away in the last minutes.

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