NetScouts Basketball is covering the Rome stage of the Nike International Junior Tournament (NIJT). In the first day of action the stars of KK Spars Sarajevo shined: point guard Aleksej Nikolic (6’2″, 1995), the small forward Nedim Buza (6’7″, 1995) and the center Doko Salic (6’9″, 1995). Their talent signed the wins against Stella Azzurra Rome, and Unicaja Malaga. Malaga showed top prospects Domantas Sabonis (6’9″) – the son of Arvidas – and Morayoninuoluwa Soluade (6’4″, 1995), a point guard with terrific athletic skills and great basketball instincts.
Fenerbahce Istanbul showed their strength, led by Berk Ogurlu (6’3″, 1996), a point guard who can create for himself and for his teammates. The Turkish guys topped Brose Basket, a very physical team conducted by the point guard David Taylor (6’2″, 1995), the shooter Andreas Obst (6’3″, 1996) and an interesting big man in Daniel Mayr (7′, 1995).
The Italian derby between Bologna and Siena was won by Bologna in a memorable duel between the forwards Simone Fontecchio (6’6, 1995) and PierFrancesco Oliva (6’7″, 1996), certainly one of the best prospects of the tournament. In the last game of the first day Stella Azzurra defeated Mandoulides with a great game from shooter Diego Terrenzi (6’3″, 1995) who scored 23 points from the bench. The Greek team was led by 25 points for the point guard Andreas Christodoulou (6’4″, 1995).
Nedim Buza had the best performance of the first day: the Bosnian shooter scored 31 points (10-of-18 from the field, 6-of-8 behind the arc) and grabbed 7 rebounds in 40 minutes. Buza showed also great defensive attitude and leadership on the court.
Day 1 Results
Unicaja Malaga (86) vs. Mas Mandoulides Thessaloniki (37)
Stella Azzurra Basketball Academy Rome (68) vs. KK Spars Sarajevo (74)
Fenerbahce Ulker Istanbul (61) vs. Brose Baskets Bamberg (56)
Virtus Bologna (76) vs. Virtus Siena (69)
KK Spars Sarajevo (77) vs. Unicaja Malaga (70)
Stella Azzurra Basketball Academy Rome (77) vs. Mas Mandoulides Thessaloniki (61)
The second day of Città di Roma Tournament confirmed the feelings of day 1. Brose Basket won both the games against the Italian teams: Virtus Bologna and Virtus Siena. The hero of he day was Andrea Obst who combined for 40 points with 9-of-13 on three-pointers in the two games. Spars Sarajevo continued their run defeating Mandoulides helped by their big three: Aleksej Nikolic, Nedim Buza and Doko Salic. Salic has been the most reliable player of the tournament (Game-1: 20 points, 14 rebounds; Game-2: 20 points, 9 rebounds; Game-3: 18 points, 8 rebounds). The Bosnian team will play in the finals for first place against Fenerbahce, which won their two games of the day, first against Virtus Siena and then against Virtus Bologna. The protagonist was the forward Ayberk Guleryuz (6’8″, 1996) who scored 20 and 17 points in he two wins.
The most spectacular game was the battle between Stella Azzurra and Unicaja Malaga. The Spanish team, led by center Ruben Guerrero (6’11.5″, 1995) with 16 points, 13 rebounds and 6 blocks, dominated the fourth quarter, thanks to Morayoninuoluwa Soluade (6’4″, 1995) who scored 8 of his 16 points in the last five minutes.
The most impressive performances of the day were those of David Taylor (6’2″, 1995) and Soluade. Soluade, the combo guard of Malaga is not always in control, but has incredible athleticism and personality in clutch games. Taylor, the German, is very quick and smart, and helped to finish the effortless win against Virtus Siena, with 23 points (7-of-10 two pointers, 2-of-3 three pointers), 3 assists and 2 steals.
Day 2 Results
Virtus Bologna (57) vs. Brose Baskets Bamberg (69)
Virtus Siena (69) vs. Fenerbahce Ulker Istanbul (81)
Mas Mandoulides Thessaloniki (55) vs. KK Spars Sarajevo (68)
Stella Azzurra Basketball Academy Rome (78) vs. Unicaja Malaga (81)
Virtus Siena (55) vs. Brose Baskets Bamberg (87)
Fenerbahce Ulker Istanbul (65) vs. Virtus Bologna (51)