Real Madrid conquered the ticket for the Finals, after beating Zalgiris Kaunas 61-60 in a dramatic fashion. Next Generation Ljubljana got the 3rd place in the podium, after beating Alba Berlin. Our Director of Scouting, Eugenio Agostinelli
, was in attendance, and here he's answering to some questions.
Who was the best player in the competition?
There were many good players in this tournament, but Urban Klavzar
was the one who I enjoyed watching the most. In one of the best Real Madrid editions, he was the most mature player on the floor. Always ready to step up in clutch moments, Klavzar made many winning plays through the competition, hitting clutch threes and making key passes, without forcing anything in his game. His mix of strong upper body and explosive legs make him a really tough match up at this level. A guy every coach would be so happy to have in his team.
Which under-the-radar prospect had the best showing?
and Elias Rapieque
made me a positive impression throughout the tournament. Both 2004-born, the Spanish forward wasn’t one of the most hyped guys in the Next Generation Team, but surely the most efficient one. High basketball IQ, he always knows how to be productive for his team. He brought a solid effort rebounding the ball, also thanks to his length. Rapieque is a 6’7 point forward with really good handle. Mature, loves handling the ball and creating plays. He makes good use of his size, and has surprisingly quick footwork driving inside. Body is still a work in progress.
It was the tournament with the highest number of 2006 prospects. Who had the biggest impact?
The Next Generation Team backcourt duo Saint Supery-Kroflic
were extremely fun to watch. The Spanish point guard from Malaga is an electric lead guard, with high confidence and passing skills balancing his small body. He loves to push the ball in transition, finishing with early plays. Fancy layup package, soft touch around the rim. Kroflic is a lefty combo who loves to slash to the rim, scoring also through contact. He still needs to improve his long-distance efficiency, although shooting form looks fluid, with quick release. Also, Dame Sarr
is worth a mention: super skinny guard, but still with chances to add some inches, he shot the ball really well from distance, both off the dribble and off the catch. One of Bassano's gems.
Who was the most surprising player?
is a big man who’s still raw and clumsy, and doesn’t even have the size of a true paint big, at 6’8. But he was simply everywhere, on both ends of the floor: rolls, rebounds, blocks, weak-side helps. Always playing with impressive motor, he was ready to convert second-chance shots, or dunk the ball in transition, always running ahead of the ball. He averaged 9.0 rebounds and 3.2 blocks, but his game was full of intangibles that don't go on the boxscore.
Urban Klavzar, Paulius Murauskas, Jakub Necas, Eli John Ndiaye (MVP), Motiejus Krivas: what’s your take on the All-Tournament team?
The Best 5 couldn’t be more accurate. Klavzar
was the best point guard in the whole competition and could have deserved also the MVP award. Murauskas
had an impressive showing in the Championship Game, finding rhythm from distance and, together with Krivas, keeping the game on the line. Necas
wasn’t at his best shape, probably due to a small injury, but he was still able to deliver and show his potential as a skilled, big three-level-forward. Ndiaye
gave life to an intense Final, being hands down the two best big men in the competition; the Senegalese 2004-born forward could impose his strength and athleticism, scoring in many ways and being a key factor on defense, with his footwork and versatility to guard multiple spots.
Eli John Ndiaye
During the Easter weekend, from April 15th to April 17th, Ljubljana was the place to be for European youth basketball. The Slovenian capital hosted the last ANGT Tournament group stage, prior to the Finals that will take place in Belgrade, from May 18th to May 21st.