Belgrade, Serbia – The second day of the Euroleague’s 2020 Adidas Next Generation Tournament at FMP Arena in Belgrade was opened with a game between Asseco Arka Gdynia and CFBB Paris. The French team dominated and pulled away to a 80-54 win. Daniel Batcho (2002), a 6-9 power forward led the winners in scoring with 21 points and seven boards, scoring his points within the paint and around the basket, showing good touch (5-of-7) from the charity line for his size. Ousmane Dieng had another good performance at the event, recording 18 points, six boards, four assists and four steals, showing his important two-way value. Asseco’s leading scorer in the loss was its starting point guard Kacper Gordon who recorded 13 points, but his assist to turnover ratio was 1 to 4. Nikodem Czoska (2002), a 6-6 small forward who can shoot from distance and penetrate aggressively, added 11 points, four boards and three steals, being active on both ends of the court.
Cedevita Ljubljana took a prestigious win, upsetting the favorite Mega Bemax 86-83 in a close contest, decided primarily by the more focused and solid performance of Cedevita’s players in the first quarter (26-19). Alen Malovcic displayed his leadership skills, appearing to be a great influence on the team, recording the game-high 24 points, six boards and three steals, shooting 5-of-6 on 2s and 3-of-6 on 3s. Egor Sytnikov had a good shooting performance from mid-range, hitting four of his five shots, finishing with 14 points and five rebounds, while his teammate Kim Klavzar (2002), a smart 6-2 point guard added 10 points, five boards and nine assists, shooting 6-of-8 from the charity stripe. Luka Paunovic had another strong showing, leading Mega in scoring with 21 points, eight boards, four steals and four assists. Paunovic is aggressive on both ends of the court, plays smart and is a plus rebounder given his size and position. Petar Kovacevic (2002), a 6-8 power forward and Mihailo Musikic both added 15 points in the loss, having eight and seven rebounds respectively.
Maccabi Tel Aviv took its first win at the tournament with a blowout victory over Panathinaikos 92-61. Harel Rinski led the winners in scoring, connecting on six of his twelve three-point attempts, to finish the game with 22 points and seven rebounds. Yuval Levin recorded a solid double-double – 19 points and ten boards, adding two assists and four steals, while Nadav Sahar (2002), a 6-1 combo guard, enjoyed a very effective shooting performance, making six of his ten shots from the field to finish with 17 points and six boards. The only spark for Panathinaikos in this game came from Marios Giotis who scored 25 points, shooting 9-of-21 from the field, including 4-of-6 on 3s.
In one of the most anticipated games of today’s program, Partizan shocked Crvena Zvezda 78-77 after an incredible 13-point comeback in the final three minutes in the classic Serbian classic. Thanks to the surprising win, Partizan sealed the first place in Group A. Lazar Stefanovic who made the winning lay-up with a second left in the game, led the winners in scoring with 22 points, four boards and three steals, shooting 4-of-8 on 3s. Nikola Radovanovic put a lot of effort on both ends of the floor, although his shots were not falling in during this game, posting a double-double – 12 points and ten boards (ten fouls drawn, shooting 8-of-10 from the charity line). Dordije Jovanovic recorded 13 points and 11 rebounds in the win, shooting 3-of-5 on 3s. Filip Brankovic (2003), a 6-8 center, led Crvena Zvezda in scoring with 17 points and three boards, while his teammate Milutin Ostojic added 15 points and three boards in the loss.
After Cedevita put all its effort into the surprising win over Mega Bemax, the tired Slovenians found difficulties against the undersized Asseco Arka Gdynia, but at the end they managed to hold off Asseco’s charge for 88-83 win. Egor Sytnikov put another impressive shooting show, making eight of his ten shots from the field, and also 5-of-6 from the charity line, to finish with 25 points and six boards. Matej Bosnjak displayed a solid presence in the paint, knowing how to use his body and size advantage down low against the small-ball team of Arka Gdynia. Bosnjak recorded 23 points and seven rebounds. Wojciech Tomaszewski had another good showing at the event, leading his team in scoring with 22 points, five boards, six steals, but six turnovers as well.
CFBB Paris cut a huge 18-point first half deficit to only one at the end in a 69-68 loss to Mega Bemax. Despite the loss, Paris advances to the first-place game on Sunday, thanks to its better point differential in the group. Petar Kovacevic led Mega in scoring with 18 points, being a board shy away from a double-double, while his teammate Luka Paunovic had another solid all-around performance, recording 13 points, seven boards and five assists. Nikola Jovic (2003), a skinny 6-8 shooting guard added 11 points and five boards, shooting 3-of-6 on 3s. Melvin Ajinca (2004), a 6-6 small forward with a well-matured athletic body, led the lucky losers in scoring with 19 points and five rebounds, showing impressive leadership skills for such an young age. Ousmane Dieng helped his team to reach the first-place game, finishing with 12 points and three rebounds.
On Sunday, Partizan will face CFBB Paris at the final, while Maccabi Tel Aviv and Mega Bemax Belgrade will play for the third place. Crvena Zvezda will face Cedevita Olimpija Ljubljana in the game for the fifth place, while Panathinaikos and Asseco Arka Gdynia will face each other to decide which team will run away from taking the last spot.
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