Valencia, Spain – Nanterre 92 and Valencia opened the final day of the Euroleague’s Adidas Next Generation Tournament at L’Alqueria del Basket in Valencia going back and forth in a nail-biter won by the hosts – 88-80. Thus, Valencia took seventh place in the final event standings. Both teams went back and forth with eventually Valencia grabbing the win in the final two minutes. They played tough zone defense which enabled them to get some stops, which resulted in baskets. The 6-foot-5 Russian swingman Ivan Aleksandrov (2003) guided Valencia to the win, scoring 22 points, shooting 3-of-4 on threes and 7-of-8 from the charity line. His Spanish teammate Sergio De Larrea (2005), a 6-6 tall guard added 15 points and seven boards coming off the bench, playing like he is not two years younger than most of his opponents. Daniel Ngufor (2003), a 6-3 French guard stood out with his poise and willingness on both ends. He scored 20 points, shooting 7-of-11 from the field and added also three assists and three steals. The usual suspects for Nanterre, Maxime Raynaud and Marc-Antoine Loemba both had another solid performance, putting up 14 and 19 points, while Raynaud grabbed an impressive 18 rebounds.
Herbalife Gran Canaria dominated over LDSL Asvel Villeurbane, winning 69-53, to secure fifth place at the tournament. The Spanish team displayed a higher level of energy and engagement in a game that may have been tough to get motivated for. Kany Tchanda led the winners with a solid double-double – 19 points and 13 rebounds, showcasing his great athleticism, solid footwork and very good feel for the game. The backcourt of Gran Canaria did its work – Matheus Brito finished with 14 points and four assists, while the NBA prospect Jean Montero had a good all-around performance, orchestrating the Spanish offense, recording 11 points, nine boards and four assists. For Asvel both Noah Manet and Zaccharie Risacher, a son of the former French national player Stephane Risacher, scored 12 points in a losing effort, while also putting serious fight on the glass, finishing with nine (six offensive) and eight rebounds, respectively.
In a close contest for the third place of the tournament Ratiopharm Ulm came away with the win over Unicaja Malaga – 69-65. Despite having some serious difficulties breaking the tough zone defense of Unicaja in the last quarter, Ulm managed to get the victory. Baylor recruit Jeremy Sochan led Ulm in scoring, recording his third double-double at the event – 15 points and ten rebounds. Sochan provided the needed leadership, finishing with four assists and only one turnover, while his Austrian teammate David Fuchs (2003), a 6-6 leaper with a solid body added 12 points off the bench in close to 20 minutes of playing action. Jacob Ensminger (2004), a 6-6 tall point forward with great basketball genes (his father is the assistant coach of the team and former pro player) showed high-level confidence scoring 7-of-8 from the charity stripe (three of which came in the crunch time) to finish with 11 points. For Unicaja the 3-and-D prospect Jose Tanchyn led the team in scoring with 15 points (3-of-8 from deep), while also securing ten boards. Daniel Shelist (2003), a Ukrainian 6-8 frontcourt player put up 14 points and eight rebounds, showing nice work within the paint and soft touch from the charity stripe.
Barcelona won the tournament after dominating over a highly motivated Joventut Badalona – 79-55 in a classic Catalan derby. Both teams put a lot of energy on the defensive end of the floor where they relied mostly on different variations of zone defense with a lot of helping and scratching. By using zone coverage Joventut tried to compensate for the lack of size of its players within the paint. Barcelona controlled the pace of the game and secured the boards (47-36). It was the great showing of Michael Caicedo that guided Barcelona to the trophy. Caicedo scored 29 points, grabbed five boards and added three dimes, being perfect from the charity line (10-of-10) in about 31 minutes of playing action. For Joventut Miguel Allen recorded another great performance, finishing with 22 points and ten rebounds, playing almost 38 minutes.
Most Valuable Player – Michael Caicedo (Barcelona)
Michael Caicedo (Barcelona)
Miguel Allen (Joventut)
Jeremy Sochan (Ratiopharm Ulm)
Killiam Malwaya (LDLC Asvel Villeurbane)
Marc-Antoine Loemba (Nanterre 92)