NetScouts Basketball was at the U14 Boys and Girls European Champions Cup in Moscow. Teams from the following countries are participating:
Boys: Russia (CSKA Moscow), Lithuania (Marculionis Academy), Serbia (Crvena Zvezda), Slovenia (Helios Domzale), Estonia (BS Eekmaa), Latvia (DSN Riga), France (Asvel) and Poland (WKK Wroclaw)
Girls: Russia (Spartak), Hungary (Vasas Basket), Spain (Madrid), Slovakia (SBK Samorin), Czech Republic (BC Imos), Latvia (Ridzene), Estonia (BC Star) and Ukraine (Sdyushor Odessa)
The first day went smoothly. The only issue was that both the boys and girls tournaments were played simultaneously.
In the first boys game DSN Riga (Latvia) beat Helios Domzale (Slovenia) 93-71. Center Artus Strautins from Latvia dominated under both boards, scoring 35 points, grabbing 22 rebounds, with 2 blocks and 2 assists. He constantly supported fast breaks, chose the best positions under rings and looked as unstoppable inside. He had 17 points by the end of the 1st half even though he missed two dunks. Strautins was the top scorer of the tournament during the 1st day.
In girls action Ukrainian Sdyushor from Odessa lost to Vasas Basket (Hungary) 50-69. The Ukrainians looked frankly poor and unskilled, but made their shots in the first half and were leading. Then Hungary got serious and controlled the rest of the game. Petra Pushtay drew our attention because of her playing manner, reminding us of Amaya Valdemoro. She finished with 27 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 blocks and 5 steals and easily became the match MVP.
The girls thriller was played between SBK Samorin (Slovakia) and Ridzene (Latvia) with the Latvians winning 55-54. Julia Lelkes (Slovakia) was impressive. She has a very soft and sharp basketball pace, left-handed, she easily drives both directions up to the basket getting by her defenders. She scored 16 points, made 6 assists and 6 rebounds but it didn’t help her team win. She shot poorly 4-of-15 and the same from the line.
Spartak Vidnoe easily nailed the Estonian club BC Star 98-42. The Estonian girls didn’t score their first points until the end of the first quarter. Mariya Vadeeva, took the lead but did everything in the flow of the offense. She wound up with outstanding statistics: 29 points, 13 boards 5 assists, 6 steals and 2 blocks. This team possesses good chemistry, all are in close contact with the coach Anna Arkhipova. She has a contract system for the players beginning from 14 years and tries to bring most of them to the highest level.
The boys game between CSKA and the French Asvel turned out to be the excellent final duel with CSKA winning 75-50. CSKA played fast, polished basketball with a lot of automatically trained switches and aggressive defense. The French club didn’t expect such teamwork from their opponents and recovered only near the end of the game. CSKA |Coach Dmitry Shatskov urged his guys to react quickly to any situation on the court, “run back with desire” and to create double-teams everywhere. The playmakers are brothers (twins), the Andreev’s – Arseniy and Artemiy scored 18 and 3 points respectively, in center roles are Ivan Kuzub and Nikita Shakarishvili. And Elkhan Akhmedov – is the freelancer. The smallest player Egor Gorshkov – 165 cm, was also used in rotation and successfully back up the playmakers.
One thing about the event is certain. There are future stars of European basketball here, potential players for national and professional teams.