By Romain Villachon

The 2017 Adidas Next Generation Tournament in L'Hospitalet took place from January the 6th to January the 8th.
Final: FC Barcelona Lassa –Joventut de Badalona : 74-58
Semifinals: FC Barcelona Lassa - CB L'Hospitalet : 71-54; Herbalife Gran Canaria - Joventut de Badalona : 79-93
5th place game: ALBA Berlin - Cedevita Zagreb : 65-71
7th place game: Union Olimpija Ljubljana - Panathinaikos: 64-53
All-Tournament Team : Sergi Martinez (FC Barcelona Lassa), Pablo Fontanet (CB L'Hospitalet), Pedro Barros (Joventut de Badalona), Toni Nakic (Cedevita Zagreb), Georgios Kalaitzakis (Panathinaikos)
Group A
ALBA Berlin ended their first ANGT L'Hospitalet with an honourable fifth position. Point guard Jonas Mattisseck ('00) showed great skills on offense: increasingly comfortable game after game, the left-handed man scored a lot of baskets in traffic, finishing the tournament with a 12/19 on twos. He was supported by Badu Buck ('99). a player who doesn’t force any shot but was still able to be the best scorer of his team with 12.5 points. He was mostly efficient in attack using P&R with high level court vision, but he’ll need to get faster to become a bigger offensive threat. In the backcourt we need to mention also Franz Wagner ('01): his body didn't allow him to play more than his 12 minutes per game, but he showed some interesting skills on the defensive side; he almost made it to the Final of the Three Point Contest, showing good shooting mechanics. Philipp Herkenhoff ('99), Joshua Luebken ('00) and Hendrik Drescher ('00) played most part of available minutes at the 4 and 5 positions. Herkenhoff is a 6’10” power forward who is more efficient receiving the ball on the move and finishing at the basket. Luebken runs the floor very well, can score valuable points despite his tendency to shy away from contact. Drescher is the only one true center so far: he likes to play on post-up situations and has really good moves. He also showed interesting shooting skills, finishing with a nice overall 5/10 from three in the tournament.
FC Barcelona Lassa looked unbeatable during this three tournament days. Sergi Martinez ('99) was named MVP of the tournament. He averaged 12.4 points, 6.2 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 1.2 steals in less than 24 minutes shooting 58% on twos. Not taking many threes in his game, he looked very effective in finishing around the basket, driving right into his defender and scoring with contact. He also showed some offensive reboundin skills (2.6 per game). Andrija Marjanovic ('99) shined at the forward position, and with an average of 27.13 ranking per 40 minutes, he was the best in all the competition. Able to score easily both in the pain and from beyond the (7/19), his energy was a much needed spark for his team. Luka Samanic ('00), probably the best prospect in the tournament, came off the bench for Barcelona: the Croatian forward showed some very intriguing skill, as he runs the floor very well, has good ball handling, rebounding tools, solid shooting skills both off the catch and off the dribble and very good basketball IQ. His size helped him a lot on the defensive side, but he had some issue in guarding a stronger opponent. Nikola Zizic (‘00) had some up and down during the tournament, but he played a strong final finishing with 12 points and 9 rebounds in just 23 minutes. He showed physical attitude and willingness to fight in the paint, averaging 8.4 points (19/37 on twos) despite his slow offensives moves. Lithuanian point guard Arnas Velicka ('99) showed the best things in the most important games: he’s a leader who really knows how to run his team and when to take scoring responsibilities on offense. He knows how tu run the P&R, could become more aggressive driving to the basket instead sometimes settling on jumpers. Miquel Puig ('00) was a key defensive and energy player, often having to guard the opponents’ best backcourt player; David Font ('00) played only 20 minutes overall in the tournament, but was the winner of the Three Points Contest, showing beautiful shooting mechanics.
Herbalife Gran Canaria advanced to semifinals thanks to the opening win against ALBA. Senegalese center Biram Faye ('00) was the biggest producer in his team: with an impressive body for his age, he was the tournament’s best rebounder (11.5 per game, adding 12.8 points per game). His strength, footwork and quickness allowed him to be a factor on defense, while on offense he was effective off power moves in the low post but will need to improve his range and shooting skills. Babacar Fam ('00) also showed intriguing potential on the defensive end, as he was probably the best defender in attendance because of his versatility to guard players both inside and on the perimeter. Javi Lopez ('99) has interesting shooting skills and is highly efficient in catch-and-shoot situations, but he’ll need to improve his ball-handling and P&R skills. Will be interesting to follow the development of top prospect Aleksander Balcerowski ('00), a 7-footer with beautiful shooting mechanics who knows how to use his size and has very soft hands; just back from an injury, his impact on the game was erratic and sometimes limited by fouls.
Union Olimpija Ljubljana was not at the level of the three other teams in this group, but won the seventh place game against Panathinaikos. Maksim Gorbachov ('00) plays with lot of aggressiveness  and is effective attacking the rim thanks to a quick first step and good awareness in P&R situations He’ll need to improve a lot his body, defensive presence and be less erratic in his game. 
Group B
Cedevita Zagreb had few injuries in the backcourt during the tournament: the most important was the one of guard Antonio Jordano ('99), who basically only played one game: his leadership and shooting ability were a key component for his team. Named in the All-Tournament Team, Toni Nakic ('99) showed high level ball skills on offense, even though sometimes settled on jumpers from beyond the arc: he can create his own shot and shined in using P&R situations. At the forward spot, Darko Bajo ('99) impressed a lot on both sides: coordinated and with a strong body, he can guard multiple positions on defense, while on offense he can post up, finish attacking the rim and shoot; he showed also very good passing skills, but his focus and aggressiveness were always erratic. The most intriguing prospect was probably Jakov Kukic ('00), who has size, length and runs the floor naturally. Always on the right place on the right moment, he got a high basketball IQ. On the offensive end he scored in the low post finishing with both hands, but also attempted with success few mid-range shots; on the defensive end, he’s as for now more comfortable defending inside the paint. David Setka ('99) was also a key contributor and intangibles player, averaging 8.5 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1 block while shooting 59.1% on twos in just 22 minutes: he is a coordinated 6’10” center with good hands who plays with lot of energy.
Joventut de Badalona had a deep team with many players bringing in quality production. In the backcourt, Pep Busquets ('99) and Pol Molins ('99) where this group’s leaders. Busquets struggled with shooting percentages, but he’s a consistent shooter with wide range; he was able also to attack the rim, particularly attacking the closeout, but has to develop his body to be more efficient. He brought also good defensive effort, guarding different backcourt positions. Molins is a good one-on-one player thanks to an impressive ability to create off the dribble; he is also very effective in transition or off baseline cuts, but will need to develop a more consistent.outside shot. It’s worth to keep an eye on also on backup point guard Didac Cuevas ('00), small but with an impressive motor; he hit few key outside shots and was really important on defense as well, often guarding the opponents’ best guard. 6’6” combo guard Pedro Barros ('00) got a spot in the All Tournament Team, after averaging 10.2 points, 3.4 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals in 28 minutes and scoring on 20 of his 28 attempts from inside the arc (71.4%). He was his team’s most efficient player, showing impressive explosiveness on his first step and willingness to take contacts and finish at the basket with great body control. Among big men, the biggest contributor was Eric Gonzalez ('99): now playing mainly at the 4, he’ll likely need to become a full-time 3 to play at a high level, giving his lack of size (6’6”). He’s an all-around player with very good motor, who was able to impact the game in many areas, shooting the ball well, rebounding and taking smart decisions on the court; he’ll need to improve his explosiveness and lateral quickness to defend the 3 spot on a constant basis. Alejandro Galan ('99) as for now lacks the mobility to play the power forward spot, but had a productive tournament playing as a center, looking quite skilled with the ball and comfortable in putting it on the floor. Sometimes he was hampered by foul troubles. Joel Parra ('00) was not consistent in his game, but had his best showing in an impressive semifinal, with 21 points and 7 rebounds in 18 minutes. With strong shoulders on a still developing body, he played with a lot of aggressiveness in the paint and was efficient off cuts and power plays at the rim.
Panathinaikos was never competitive enough in the competition. 6’6” Combo gurd Georgios Kalaitzakis ('99) impressed with some amazing ball-handling, passing and shooting off the dribble. His body language and defensive attitude weren’t always up to the task, but he still was able to be named to the All-Tournament Team thanks to his creativity and explosiveness on offense.
The host team of CB L'Hospitalet had a great tournament, reaching semifinals for the first time ever. Guard Raul Verano ('99) had a very good tournament, averaging 13.7 points, 5 assists and 1.7 steals in 28 minutes with only 1 turnover overall during the first three games. He was efficient in scoring both off the catch, coming off screens and creating his own shot, but was able as well to set the pace of the game and set his teammates up. The other major player of the team was Pablo Fontanet ('99), an efficient big man even though lacking some size: a player with solid strength in his upper body, he runs the floor well and looked natural in putting the ball on the floor. He has very good defensive fundamentals, especially in P&R situations.

Photo by Paco Largo