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Kaunas shows talent
Press Release
Three days of thrilling basketball in the Rinus de Jong Invitational in Den Bosch, the Netherlands brought a winner of the mens’ U20-tournament everybody might have expected: Zalgiris Kaunas. The Lithuanian powerhouse won all four games, included the final against the surprising Danish ‘academics’ of BMS Basketball: 85-70.
The superiority of Zalgiris, more accurate, atletic and at the end more effective, was evident. In the final the energetic BMS squad of coach Jon Gunnar Magnusson approached till the third quarter but lost control when the tough defense of the opponent showed to be effective. And due to the impressive offensive performance of Vaidus Kariniauskas. BMS couldn’t stop the penetrations of the flashy forward who scored 34 points in the attractive championships game.
The team of BMS Basketball got surpisingly into the final of the competion of six teams from six different European countries. The team, with nine Danish players, two Serbians and one from Montenegro, was determined and showed pace and courage. Center Alexander Birketoft (2.02 meters) and athletic Serbian forward Zarko Jukic (2.00 m) played great, but could not impress Zalgiris Kaunas what showed its tremendous potential in all four games it played in the beautiful Maaspoort arena in the city of Den Bosch.
BMS surprised just as the youngsters of Riga, in fact the national U18-team of Latvia, did. This team ended third after beating the selection of the Basketball Association of Belgrade in the last game (96-87). The Serbians, last year winners of this young event with its great potential, could not keep up with the opponents who showed more team connextion and – due to David Geks (31 points) – a better offensive performance. Dusan Stankovic (23 points) was the most effective player for the Belgrade selection. Hometeam EiffelTowers Den Bosch avoided ending at the bottom of the ranking by beating the team of the Canarias Basketball Academy (75-68). In both earlier editions of the Dutch Invitational the academic team of the Spanish Canary Islands made it to the finals.
Final ranking mens’ U20 competition: 1. Zalgiris Kaunas (Lit), 2. BMS Basketball (Den), 3. BA Riga (Lat), 4. BF Belgrade (Ser), 5. EiffelTowers Den Bosch (Net), 6. Canarias Basketball Academy (Spa).
Danish BMS Basketball might have lost the championships game of the Mens ‘ U20 Rinus de Jong Invitational in Den Bosch, the Netherlands but in the individual rankings the academic team from Skovlund had the best score of all six teams. Two of the four individual prices were for players of the Danish team. MVP of the tournament was 19 years old, very athletic Serbian forward Zarko Jukic ('93). And Alexander Birketoft (2.02 meters) was named the best defender. Lithuanian super talent Tomas Dimsa ('94) from Zalgiris Kaunas was topscorer of this event and only 17 years old David Geks ('95) (BA Riga) was honoured with the title ‘biggest talent’.


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