By Luka Drca

The 4th ANGT stage of this season took place in Belgrade, Serbia from the 22nd to the 24th of February.
Final: Mega Bemax Belgrade – Red Star MTS Belgrade 73 - 63
3rd place game: Olympiacos Piraeus – Petrol Olimpia Ljubljana 87 - 86
5th place game: Spars Sarajevo – Umana Reyer Venice 83 - 81
7th place game: Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul – Cedevita Zagreb 89 - 84

All-Tournament Team: Aleksandar Langovic (Mega Bemax - MVP) Nemanja Popovic (Red Star), Aleksej Pokusevski (Olympiacos Piraeus), Djordje Topolovic (Spars Sarajevo), Davide Casarin (Umana Reyer Venice)
Red Star mts Belgrade as a host team won all three games in the group but ended up losing in the finals. The best player of this team was Nemanja Popovic (’01) and he made the All-Tournament Team. Very talented PF standing at 6’9 that plays with high energy on both ends of the floor. He is a solid athlete and plays as a point guard from the PF position, doing a little of everything. Soft touch around the rim. Needs to improve shooting behind the 3-point line. Solid defender that is active on the boards. Averaged 13.3 points, 7.5 rebounds, 2.8 assists per 25 minutes of action. Vukasin Masic (‘01) is an undersized, athletic SG standing at 6’3.  This kid has a scoring mentality and once he gets in the redeem he is hard to stop. Defensively he is aggressive. Averaged 15 points, 4.5 assists while shooting 46% from the 3-point line. Marko Pavicevic (‘01) is a center with high basketball IQ standing at 6’9. Has good hands and can finish either way using jump hooks. Inconsistent free throw shooter. Due to slow lateral movement he is having hard time switching on guards. Lazar Zivanovic (‘01) is an elite athlete, with long body standing at 6’7 but not that great basketball understanding. He is a driver first but able to hit spot up threes. Doesn’t like contact and defensively he gives up after a second dribble.
Olympiacos Piraeus ended up with 3 wins losing only to Red Star. One of the top prospects of this tournament was Aleksej Pokusevski (‘01) who earned a spot in the All-Tournament Team. His body frame (6’11) is excessive and his skill level is amazing for a big guy. He showed impressive improvements with his outside shot, and shooting was his main weapon in Belgrade. He has great floor vision and he is able to create for others. Solid rebounder but mostly on the defensive end. Despite all the talent this kid possesses, he still looks quite soft and doesn’t like physical contact. Defensively he is a great shot blocker but in general showed poor motor and focus. Averaged 15.8 points, 7 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 3.5 blocks in 26 minutes, while shooting 52.6% from the 3-point line. Andreas Tsoumanis (‘01) is a high energy, tough kid that likes to compete standing at 6’7. He is a driver first, mostly to the right, but he would shoot threes if you give him enough space. Very aggressive on the boards and there is no loose ball for him. Due to his high energy he gets out of the control occasionally. Averaged 20.8 points, 8 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 3.5 turnovers. Iosif Koloveros (‘02) is a pre-matured undersized PG with good understanding of the game, standing at 6’0. Explosive and quick. He likes driving both ways and taking mid-range shots. Aggressive defensively.
Umana Reyer Venezia won only one game, taking the 6th place and finishing with 1-3 record. They were the youngest team on this tournament since most of their players were born in 2002 and 2003. Davide Casarin (‘03) is the motor of this team and the guy that has to touch the ball in every possession. He is a SG standing at 6’3 that has all the freedom on this team and he made the All-Tournament Team. He is a scorer, creator, rebounder: a solid athlete that does a little of everything. His shooting percentages were low (only 30% from the field averaging 19.75 shots per game) due to the fact that he is taking so many bad shots. He has quick arms and gambles on defense. Averaged 18.3 points, 4.3 rebounds, 4.8 assists, 2.3 steals. Nicola Berdini (‘03) is a small PG standing at 6’1. He is quick and aggressive on both ends of the floor. This kid is a scoring PG that has hard time passing the ball due to his size. Confident shooter from the 3-point line. Limited in set defense because of lack of size. A player worth mentioning is center Luca Possamai(‘01): listed as 6’10, he is a good rebounder but he’s still raw in his game.
Cedevita Zagreb went winning-less in this tournament, but they were missing their top three players due to injuries. Aleksa Gataric (‘02) listed as 6’2 is a skinny and long PG. He is quick with explosive first step. He is a pass first guy that has a great floor vision and his understanding of the game is remarkable. His skillset is high-level and he plays under control. Can score in multiple ways and also won the 3-point shooting competition. His body is still developing and he is having issues defending stronger guards. Daniel Pavicic (‘01) was the main scorer of his team, averaging 21.3 points, 1.8 rebounds, 3.5 assists. This kid plays through contact and he is a driver first, but he’s also able to make open shots. Listed as 6’3 he is already fully developed from a physical standpoint. Defensively he is aggressive and usually is guarding the best players of the opposing team. Renato Serdarusic (‘01) is a late bloomer, as a skinny and long wing standing at 6’6. Even though he is lacking strength, he is not afraid of contact and is a pretty good rebounder, but still pretty soft on defense.
Mega Bemax Belgrade won all 4 games and clinched the title beating the host, Red Star, in the finals. Aleksandar Langovic (‘01) was the MVP of the tournament. One of the best athletes in attendance, he’s a lefty big guy standing at 6’9 with a 7’3 wingspan. Averaged 13.8 points, 9 rebounds, 1.3 assists. Mostly scores out of offensive rebounds and assisted shots in the paint. Strong driver to the left, he shot poorly from the 3-point line in this tournament (only 20%), even though his form looks good. Doesn’t do the things he is not capable of, he’s a no-nonsense player who stays within his limits. Good defender with very good versatility at this level of competition. Marko Kljajevic (‘01) is a tall, long, and athletic wing, standing at 6’8. This kid is talented with good skillset. Does a little of everything, but shooting is his main weapon. Solid defender, but needs to be more aggressive and take more responsibilities on both ends of the court. Averaged 9 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists in 20 minutes of action. Marko Andric (‘02) is a pre-matured combo guard standing at 6’2. He is quick and explosive and likes finishing through contact. Driver first that makes open threes. Aggressive defender that uses his athleticism to play full court press. Averaged 12.5 points, 2.5 rebounds, 2 assists.
Petrol Olimpia Ljubljana took the 4th place with a 2-2 record. Uros Sikanic (‘01) is the best player of this team and averaged 16.3 points, 9.3 rebounds, 2.8 assists in 33 minutes. He is an average athlete at best, standing at 6’8. He is a stretching PF that is very aggressive on the boards but is missing mid-range game: he is either driving right or shooting threes. Doesn’t look interested in playing defense. Miha Cerkvenik (‘01) is a 6’3 combo guard, a late bloomer that shoots more threes than twos (31 threes compared to only 8 twos). He is quick but still soft and physically undeveloped, has a hard time guarding due to his lack of physicality. Jan Sagadin (‘01) is an athletic 6’5 wing. Can score in multiple ways and his field goal percentages were good this tournament (71.4% for 2 and 44.4% for 3). He is unpredictable, plays out of control and his basketball IQ is questionable. Has good lateral quickness on defense.
Spars Sarajevo ended up winning the 5th place game. The best player of this was big guy Djordje Topalovic (‘01), who made the All-Tournament Team. Even though he is listed as 6’9 he looks shorter, probably around 6’7. Below average athlete with strong body. Likes playing through contact and uses his strength to position himself and score at the rim. Solid free throw shooter. Having hard time switching on guards due to his lack of the lateral quickness.  Averaged 18.5 points, 8 rebounds per 30 minutes.  Deni Radak (‘01) is the most athletic guard on this team, while standing at 6’7. He is a driver to the right with solid shooting mechanics, despite being quite inconsistent from the free throw line. Pretty good rebounder and decent defender. Averaged 14.3 points, 6 rebounds, 2.5 assists per 33 minutes. Nikola Micic (‘02) is a PF standing at 6’8. He is a decent athlete who relies on his shot, if he drives he usually goes to the right. Plays with energy on both ends of the floor and uses his strength and athleticism on the defensive end, being able to guard 1-4.
Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul clinched the 7th place with a 1-3 record. Sarper David Mutaf (‘02) is a lefty wing, a decent athlete standing at 6’6 with long arms and fluid moves. He is a solid shooter even though he shot only 20% from the 3-point line. Talented kid that finds good solutions in the traffic, but an average defender at best. Averaged 16.3 points, 5.3 rebounds, 3.3 assists in 29 minutes. Ismail Karabilen (‘01) is a stretch big man listed as 6’9. Talented player that understands basketball, he’s an excellent passer and very good positional rebounder. Doesn’t like physical contact and defensively he is soft, with poor lateral quickness. Averaged 14.3 points, 12.3 rebounds, 2 assists per 23min. Yigit Onan (‘02) is a long, lengthy, lefty forward who stands at 6’7. This kid is a late bloomer that plays fearless and looks like he will grow another inch or two. Above average athlete with solid basketball IQ, he’s a very good shooter off the catch. He plays with positive attitude on the court and looks like he is enjoying the game.

Photo by: Dragoslav Zarkovic