Munich, Germany – The Euroleague’s 2020 Adidas Next Generation Tournament started today at Audi Dome in Munich. The ANGT is one of the most important tournaments in the world for evaluating junior (U18) basketball. For three days, eight teams are divided into two groups to play for a spot in the 2020 European Club Championship that will take part alongside the Final Four in Cologne.
In the opening game of the tournament Stella Azzurra topped Ratiopharm Ulm 91-65. Abramo Canka (2002), a 6-5 combo guard led the winners in scoring with 23 points, shooting 9-of-9 on 2s, while Fedor Zugic (2003), a 6-5 Montenegrin guard, scored 19 points and grabbed seven rebounds for the win. Ivan Onojaife (2003), a 6-5 center, was one board shy from a double-double, finishing the game with 12 points, nine rebounds, three assists, three steals and two blocks. Aleksa Bulajic (2002), an intelligent 6-5-point guard (eight fouls drawn, 8-of-10 from the charity stripe) and Igor Milicic (2002), a versatile Polish forward both finished with 16 points for Ulm, while the athletic 6-8 forward Andrea Grbovic (2003) added 12 points in the loss.
The hosts from Bayern Munich controlled the pace of the game against CSKA Moscow to win 69-55. Simonas Lukosius (2002), a 6-4 combo guard led Bayern in scoring with 18 points, shooting 4-of-7 on 3s, adding also six rebounds and four assists. Sasha Grant (2002), a 6-6 guard, who can switch and defend from 1 to 5, added 12 points, six rebounds and four assists. Linus Hofmann (2002), a small forward recorded a double-double – 10 points and 10 boards for the win, while his teammate, the 6-8 small forward Filip Scobalj was aggressive inside and finished with 14 points and seven rebounds (4-of-4 from the charity line). The floor leader Anton Kardanakhishvili (2002), was the only spark for CSKA offensively, scoring a game-high 19 points, adding four rebounds, four assists and four steals.
In the first entirely German game at the tournament Porsche Ludwigsburg blew out Alba Berlin 88-43. Ludwigsburg started the game very aggressively on defense, trapping its opponents early, forcing turnovers, leading to easy baskets on offense. The main reason for a 32-10 lead after the first quarter for Ludwigsburg was Ariel Hukporti (2002), a 6-10 intimidating center, who registered 11 points and two blocks in the first quarter and finished the game with 24 points, eight boards and four blocked shots, dominating on both ends of the floor thanks to his great physical tools and high basketball IQ. Ralph Hounnou (2002), an aggressive 6-2 slasher, added 18 points, including 5-of-5 from the charity stripe and, impressive for his position, seven rebounds. Jacob Patrick, a 6-5 combo guard and an efficient spot-up shooter scored 19 points in the win, shooting 4-of-9 on 3s.
After a slow start in the first quarter Real Madrid pulled away from Promitheas Patras in the third quarter to win the game 98-67. Eli John Ndiaye (2004), a 6-7 mobile Senegalese center, dominated the paint and controlled the boards, recording a monstrous double-double – 22 points and 15 rebounds. Matteo Spagnolo (2003), an Italian shooting guard finished with 16 points (2-of-2 on 3s), eight rebounds and four assists, while his teammate Urban Klavzar (2004), a 6-1 Slovenian point guard scored 12 points, shooting 3-of-4 on 3s. Promitheas was led by Eleftherios Mantzoukas (2003) with 22 points, 12 rebounds and four assists. Mantzoukas is amongst the top players of the event – a 6-8 forward, who plays for the men’s team of Promitheas in EuroCup and the Greek League A1 (six fouls drawn). His teammate and starting combo guard Athanasios Bazinas (2003) added 15 points and grabbed eight boards.
Stella Azzura ran past CSKA Moscow to get its second win for the day – 100-61. Kevin Ndzie (2003), an athletic 6-10 center led the winners with his strong and efficient presence close to the basket, showing good touch and shot blocking ability. Ndzie scored 15 points, adding 13 rebounds and two blocks. His teammates Zugic (four fouls drawn) and Nicola Giordano (2003) both scored 12 points, as Giordano, a 6-2 playmaker added five assists and five steals, finishing the game without a turnover. For CSKA Kardanakhishvili scored 18 points (six fouls drawn), but also made five turnovers, shooting 1-of-8 on 3s, while CSKA shot 8-of-35 on 3s.
Bayern Munich remained unbeaten after winning 88-77 over Ratiopharm Ulm in the last game of the day. Grant led the winners with his spectacular all-around performance, finishing with 33 points, six rebounds, three assists, one steal and one block. Grant shot 10-of-12 on 2s and 7-of-8 from the charity stripe. He was all over the court, taking the responsibility to shoot critical shots, not saving energy while on defense, but intimidating his opponents. Lukosius had another strong performance, scoring 15 points, while Scobalj added 12 points for the win. Milicic led Ulm in scoring with 19 points, shooting 7-of-12 on 2s and grabbed eight rebounds, while Grbovic had a very good all-around performance with his 16 points, eight rebounds and four assists.
On Saturday Hukporti’s Porsche Ludwigsburg will face the favorites from Real Madrid in a game that could seal the first place in Group B, while in Group A Stella Azzurra will go against the hosts from Bayern Munich to decide who will finish first and play at the final.
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