Zilakauskis with the MVP
Steponas Zilakauskis (’06) was arguably the best and most consistent player on the court throughout the tournament. He was the natural leader for the unbeaten Lithuanian side. With a great feel for the game, Zilakauskis played like a true point guard running his team and always being very vocal with his teammates. He has a smooth play style and great court vision; with a quick first step and a great change of speed, he was able to score at all three levels. Calm and always aware of what was happening around him, he made great decisions on offense and defense.
Buteliauskas taking over
After Kasparas Jakucionis was ruled out of the tournament, Matas Buteliauskas (’06) took over for the Lithuania-1 side, always playing with a high motor on both ends of the court. He worked very well off the ball, creating situations for himself and was a threat mainly from mid-range but also making good reads. He got past his defenders easily and took three-point shots when he was open. Buteliauskas displayed good shooting mechanics and stepped up when the team needed him the most.
Kasparas Jakucionis (’06), the highest ranked player in the event, started his first game very well making plays all over the court with a stat line of 2 points, 3 assists in just 8:44 minutes. After a small sub to check his back, he came right back into the court but shortly after, the back injury took him out of the game and then out of the tournament subsequently.
Dovydas Buika, Eric Reibe and Rudis Donis also making it to the Best-5.
Besides Zilatauskis and Buteliauskas, Dovydas Buika (’07), an in-out wing, was the perfect partner for Zilakauskis on Lithuania 2, the unbeaten side; a good defender with great positioning and work off the ball but also showing the capability to put the ball on the ground and attack the rim.
Eric Reibe (’06), very tall and lengthy, was a remarkable rim protector for Germany and the biggest threat in the paint but also showed that he can put the ball on the ground and finish at the rim. Rudis Donis (’06) also deserved the mention thanks to his high motor, contesting every shot in the paint. In offense, he was the main player for Latvia working on the post and creating extra possessions for his team.
The U15 Šiškauskas Cup was held this past week with the presence of four national teams: two Lithuanian sides, Germany and Latvia. With four of our top-30 prospects of the 2006 generation in the tournament, the event had remarkable performers. Our Recruiting Analyst, Reinaldo Bessa, covered the event.