By Biel Colominas
 
The 14th edition of the Baltic Sea Basketball Cup was held in Tallinn, Estonia from January the 3rd to January the 5th. Under 18 and Under 16 teams from Estonia, Finland, Latvia and Sweden played in the tournament.
 
Here are the top performers of each team:
 
U18 COMPETITION
 
Markus Ilver (‘02). 6’8, PF/SF, Estonia
Ilver is a hybrid forward who has average size and still an undeveloped body. His leaping and explosiveness are out of question, being extremely light on his feet on both ends of the floor. He showed impressive ability to attack closeouts with excellent first step, finishing naturally above the rim or using quick eurosteps. His outside shot looked natural and quick off the catch. He is able to make good reads feeding his teammates while driving and in transition. On defense, he has quick feet to decently match perimeter players.
 
Max Besselink (‘02). 6’7, SF, Finland
Besselink is a great athlete with good size and solid frame for his position; his body has potential to easily bulk up. He is a high basketball IQ player who is mostly in control of his game, always taking good decisions on and off the ball.  With the ball, he proved to have remarkable timing and touch as a passer while driving and after turning the corner of the P&R. He is also very smart moving off the ball, cutting and making baseline cuts. As a shooter, Besselink can hit shots from different range off the dribble and off the catch with consistent and smooth mechanics.
 
Henriks Bajars (‘02). 7’0, C, Latvia
Seven-footer big man with a very skinny body which has potential to fill up in the future. His mobility and coordination are surprisingly good giving his size, as he can run the court in transition at decent speed. Bajars can step outside and shoot from long range: his shooting form is ok, sets his shot quickly and release is pretty fluid. He has good hands to catch the ball while rolling or cutting to the rim. He has decent instincts as a shot blocker.
 
Bobi Klintman (‘03). 6’7, SF/SG, Sweden
Klintman has a really intriguing body, being long, skinny and with a lot of range to develop. He is a fluid athlete who shows excellent coordination and quickness on his moves. Klintman played mainly off the ball in Tallinn, where he displayed his high-level shooting ability off the catch and also good instincts cutting to the rim. He also proved to be natural handling the ball, creating for himself and others on P&R and driving to the basket. Defensively, he has the physical tools to be a good defender.
 
U16 COMPETITION
 
Henri Veesaar (‘04). 6’10, PF, Estonia
Veesaar is a highly intriguing player who has a unique combination of size, mobility and skills. He has a long, skinny and undeveloped body which looks like can add more inches. His coordination and body control are above average giving his size and age, looking very fluid and balanced with his moves on the court. Veesaar played mainly close to the basket, where he showed some impressive actions using high-level footwork and finishing softly with both hands. Defensively, he brings huge intimidation with his length and shot blocking instincts coming from the weak side.
 
Viljami Vartiainen (‘04). 6’4, SG, Finland
Shooting guard who has grown since last season and his body still has range to develop more. Vartiainen is a high-level shooter off the catch: moves smartly off the ball, sets his feet quickly, has consistent mechanics and never hesitates to take a shot. He can also hit pull up jumpers after attacking a closeout. His game is mostly under control, reads well when to attack closeouts and has good court vision and timing to kick the ball out or to feed the big man. He has great lateral mobility and anticipation to stay in front of his man on defense.
 
Elliot Cadeau (‘04). 5’11, PG, Sweden
Small point guard with above average athleticism who plays with high motor and aggressiveness on the court. Cadeau is a fearless driver, changes speed out of nothing and gets easily inside the paint, where he is able to score comfortably against contact. He loves using his elite quickness to play in transition, where he shows better decision making than against set defenses. On defense, Cadeau is a nightmare for his defenders, being extremely aggressive and pesky using his quick hands to force turnovers.
 
Frederiks Meinarts (‘04). 6’9, PF, Latvia
Meinarts has an interesting physical profile given his undeveloped, lengthy and skinny body. His mobility and coordination are above average for a player of his size and age. Right handed power forward who prefers to step out and play on the perimeter; where he can shoot from distance or to attack off the dribble with great body control. On defense, he is a good shot blocker thanks to his length at this level of competition.


Photo by: Siim Semiskar
 
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