The 2017 Adidas Next Generation Tournament in Coin took place from February the 10th to February the 12th.
Final: Real Madrid – Unicaja Malaga  72 - 60
3rd place game: Estudiantes – Real Betis Seville  68 - 56
5th place game: Cibona – USK Prague  67 - 65
7th place game: Bayern Munich – Darussafaka  73 - 61
All-Tournament Team: Dino Radoncic (Real Madrid - MVP), Andrzej Pluta (Real Betis Seville), Ignacio Rosa (Unicaja Malaga), Marko Pecarski (Bayern Munich), Kresimir Nikic (Cibona)

Group A

Darussafaka was the less talented team in the tournament and ended up in last place, despite few good games from forward Yavuz Gultekin (‘00): a long, quick and explosive face up player, he’s a good athlete for his age and was constantly aggressive in attacking the basket off the dribble; he averaged 15.3 points, 8.5 rebounds, 1.3 steals and 1 block per game, even though his body language and overall attitude weren’t always the best possible. Guard Mert Akay (‘00) also was solid in the tournament: a 6’4 player who at this level can cover both backcourt positions, he showed good awareness in moving without the ball but had issues with shooting percentages.
USK Prague had a solid tournament overall, even though they struggled to compete from a physical standpoint. Forward Jan Zidek (‘99) was their best performer, averaging 17.5 points and 6.3 rebounds per game: a 6’8 shooter with the ability to also pass the ball and make plays attacking the closeout, he’ll need to work on his defense and show he can consistently guard perimeter players. Through four games in Coin, he went 15/47 from beyond the arc, with his efficiency on the court mainly depending from his outside shot. Shooting guard Radek Farsky (’99) was the tournament’s top scorer at 19.8 points per game: not always comfortable with his shot selection and decision making, the aggressive guard showed impressive ability to score off the dribble, being able to create his own shot with little separation and to guarantee quick points out of nowhere. He averaged 8 fouls drawn per game and also shot 42 total free throws through four games. Point guard Marek Vyroubal (‘01) started all four games and averaged 26.55 minutes, despite being two years younger than the competition; he didn’t have an impact from a scoring standpoint, but has good poise for his age and very good frame at 6’4.

Team of Estudiantes from Madrid didn’t feature any outstanding performer, but played organized and physical basketball with deeper rotations than other teams in the tournament; they missed the final by losing to Unicaja Malaga in overtime, after giving up a three point shot with less than one minute left in regulation. Wing Alex Tamayo (‘00) ended up as the team’s top scorer with 15.5 points per game: more fluid than explosive, he’s an effective ball-handler at this level of competition, being able to create his own shot and also play for his teammates; his shot was solid as well in the tournament, as he went 10/29 from beyond the arc. Ukrainian forward Andriy Grystsak (‘00) lacks perimeter game and doesn’t use much his right hand, but is a good athlete with excellent motor; a versatile defender and highly valuable on switches, averaged 5.3 points, 7 rebounds, 3.5 steals and 1 block per game. 6’11 center Mamadou Diop (‘99) has still poor instincts and a skinny body, but he’s a great athlete, plays hard and showed some ability to hit mid-range jumpers; he averaged 4.8 points, 10.8 rebounds and 1.8 blocks. Forward Hector Alderete (‘02) deserves a mention, as he played valuable minutes even if he was the youngest player in the tournament: he has excellent frame for his age, is still lanky but showed promising instincts and IQ.

The host team of Unicaja Malaga ended up in second place after a hard-fought final against Real Madrid. Big man Ignacio Rosa (‘99) averaged 11.3 points, 8.5 rebounds, 1.8 steals, 7 fouls drawn and 1 block per game, being named in the All-Tournament Team: a slender player who is transitioning more and more on a perimeter power forward, he’s comfortable putting the ball on the floor and can shoot as far as from beyond the three point line, even though at this stage of his development he trusts too much his jumper. He only hit one three in Coin, even though that was the one who sent to overtime the pivotal game against Estudiantes. Undersized center Morgan Stilma (‘00), from Holland, was the top scorer for his team, averaging 11.8 points, 5.5 rebounds and 1 block per game. He’s a 6’6 player who will need to work on his body and improve his physical shape, but was effective in the paint thanks to his footwork and soft touch, and also showed the ability to hit jumpers on a consistent basis. Wing Jesus Carralero (‘00) had few good moments in the tournament and was the team’s best player in the final, he’s an explosive athlete with physical potential and the ability to score attacking the basket, he’ll need to work on his outside shot.

Group B

Despite three good games in group stage, where the team gave some fight to Real Madrid and lost by a combined five points to Cibona and Seville, Bayern Munich ended up in last place and had to play for the 7th spot in the tournament. Serbian big man Marko Pecarski (‘00) missed the last game because of an ankle injury, but was still named to the All-Tournament Team after averaging 19.7 points, 14.3 rebounds and 5 fouls drawn in the first three games, while shooting 54.8% from inside the arc, 36.4% from three and 86.7% from the free throw line. He’ll still need to work on his body, but his IQ and sense of position are off the charts for his age, and he was able to score both in the low post and with his jumper. Big man Vladimir Pinchuk (‘99) had a breakout tournament, averaging 15 points, 7.3 rebounds and 4.8 fouls drawn through four games: a physical and aggressive player who always plays with high motor, he showed great positioning and activity level in the paint, was able to hit few jumpers and looked like a solid passer as well. Guard Nelson Weidemann (‘99) struggled with shot selection and decision making, averaging 5.5 turnovers per game, but has impressive frame and explosiveness for his position.

Cibona came in Coin with a young and still physically raw team, which was crushed by Real Madrid in group stage; they performed well in the other three games, earning a 5th spot in the tournament and showing some intriguing prospect. Center Kresimir Nikic (‘99) had some glimpse of dominance at this level of competition, even though his focus and attitude on the court are still erratic; he averaged 13.8 points, 7 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 2.8 blocks and 5.8 fouls drawn per game, and was named to the All-Tournament Team. Standing 7’1 with a still undeveloped frame, Nikic has impressive touch around the rim, can easily hit the mid-range jumper and has solid passing tools as well, his size was often impossible to match in Coin. Shooting guard Dino Bistrovic (‘00) was Cibona’s top scorer at 16.5 points per game, shooting 44% on twos and 39% on threes. An already strong player who lacks significant physical upside, he was always effective attacking the basket and finishing through contact, and showed as well quick release and extended range in his outside shot. Power forward Matej Rudan (‘01) didn’t play major minutes but has intriguing potential giving his size, physical upside and face up skills.

Real Betis Seville won two games almost at the buzzer in group stage, finishing in 4th place in Coin. Polish 6’2 guard Andrzej Pluta (‘00) had a breakout tournament and was named in the All-Tournament Team; he averaged 17.8 points while shooting 47% on twos and 46% on threes, and hit both shots that got Seville two wins against Bayern and Cibona. Pluta is a quick and explosive ball-handler, with outstanding motor on both ends of the court. A shooter with really wide range and quick execution, he’s extremely efficient in creating separation off the dribble for his shot. Lithuanian power forward Tomas Balciunas (‘00) is another player with impressive motor for the Spanish team, and averaged a double-double in the tournament (15.8 points and 11.5 rebounds, also with 6.5 fouls drawn per game). Still with a shaky shot selection and not always efficient in his perimeter game, he worked tirelessly in the paint, scoring off second chance points and bringing a good number of intangible plays on the table.

Real Madrid won the first ANGT Coin edition, thanks to a dominant performance by forward Dino Radoncic (‘99) in the final against Malaga. Radoncic was named MVP of the tournament and averaged 19.3 points, 5.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.8 steals while shooting a total 11/14 from three; he went for 37 points, 7 rebounds and 9 fouls drawn in the final, shooting 5/6 from beyond the arc. A creative forward with above average strength for his age, he showed impressive development in his shooting ability and was able to hit jumpers with ridiculous ease. Point guard Melwin Pantzar (‘00) has excellent size and strength for his position, and he was a consistent performer throughout the tournament: he was poised on offense and brought good decision making to his team, without forcing the issue and playing with good effort. 6’11 center Khadim Sow (‘99) played just under 20 minutes per game but had a good impact in the paint, thanks to his strong body, explosiveness and quick feet on defense. Big man Amar Sylla (‘01), who didn’t play major minutes except in the game against Bayern Munich, still showed intriguing potential and deserves to be mentioned: a long and still skinny player, his athleticism and activity level were quite impressive and he showed also solid touch on offense, the ability to hit some jumper and good coordination and awareness to possibly become a player effective also from the perimeter.

Photo by Antonio Ordoñez