From December 6th to December 8th, Valencia (Spain) hosted the Qualifying round of Minicopa Endesa. The sixteen participating teams were divided into four groups, and at the end, Barça, Unicaja Andalucía, Valencia Basket, Real Betis Baloncesto, UCAM Murcia and Gran Canaria earned a spot in the Minicopa final round, that will be held in Badalona from 16th February to 19th February. Our Director of Scouting, Artau Pascual, attended the tournament, and tells us more about the top prospects of the event.

MVP: Matus Rybar

Below you can find some of the standouts of the tournament.

Ilan Laville (’09, Valencia Basket) 6’0, Guard, France

Ilan Laville was the most outstanding talent of the tournament. Without being a physically dominant player because he is still in the first stages of his development, he found ways to use his technical fundamentals and splendid footwork to score at multiple levels and create shooting situations for himself off the dribble. He was great at changing the pace on his drives and shifting directions and showed poise to keep the dribble alive against intense defenses. Still has plenty of margin to work on his body, but his frame upside might be limited. He proved to be a creative passer with a wide repertoire of ways to assist and the talent to make advanced reads. He has very promising court mapping instincts.

Alejandro Ivorra (’09, Valencia Basket) 6’2, Guard, Spain

Alejandro Ivorra was the main two-way player of Valencia in this tournament. He was very active blowing up passing lanes and found easy ways to turn defense into offense thanks to the great use of his length he did. He played with great motor, was able to get fastbreak points and showed nice shooting form in catch and shoot situations. He felt comfortable acting as a secondary initiator alongside with Ilan Laville.

Lun Jarc (’09, Gran Canaria) 6’6, Forward, Slovenia

Surely one of the most intriguing long-term prospects of the tournament. Obviously raw in many aspects, but in the best-case scenario he would end up belonging to the tall ball handler archetype that works so well nowadays. He displayed great reads as a passer in pick and roll when he acted as a ball handler and he was able to create shots for himself in drives. He was inconsistent shooting the ball off the dribble and every shot had a different form, but the process to create those shots looked promising. He needs to polish his footwork and angle manipulation and work on his motor to reach the next stages of his development. Also, he has margin to improve his contact absorption ability.

Malang Adjiba Badji (’09, Gran Canaria) 6’7, Center, Senegal

Portland Trail Blazers big man Ibou Badji’s brother was the most dominating big man of the event. He was able to deter shots and deflect passes. He didn’t find opposition finishing at the rim, showed some nice reads as a passer and felt comfortable in hand off situations. He made a big impact in the game that sealed Gran Canaria’s access to the final round despite being injured. Showed some range.

Iker Trillo (’09, Breogán) 6’4, Center/Forward, Spain

Nice performance by Iker Trillo, who demonstrated his talent both as a center and as a forward. He was aggressive on his drives and was able to find good finishing angles with his right hand, and he also showed he knows how to get good spots in the low post thanks to the nice positioning and solid core strength for his age. He was the primary initiator of his team’s offense in many scenarios and displayed nice game perception, with quick, accurate decision making in difficult reads.

Martí Marco (’09, Manresa) 5’9, Guard, Spain

Martí Marco is one of the main bucket getters of the 2009 Spanish generation. His long term physical upside is limited because he seems to be in the final stages of his growth, but as of right now he takes advantage of his excellent lower body and advanced ball handling ability to create space for his shots and get to the restricted area at his will. He was the leader of Manresa’s team and responded well to his high usage role.

Oriol Filbà (’09, Barça) 6’2, Guard, Spain

Barça won all three of their matches in a very convincing way and Oriol Filbà proved to be an all-round player. In the first game he ran the offense creating good looks for his teammates in transition and putting his two feet in the paint, and during the whole tournament he showed his ability to finish in the restricted area. He had nice minutes acting as the primary ball handler, and this will be a key factor for his development since it doesn’t seem he is going to grow much more. He needs to work on his outside shooting and has margin to lower his center of gravity to improve as a ball handler.

Diego Ferreras (’09, Obradoiro) 6’4, Guard/Forward, Spain

Diego Ferreras was one of the invited players Cenor Obradoiro brought to the tournament. The lefty, skilled guard left a great impression: he was able to create his own shot from mid-long range and, thanks to his physical dominance, often he was used as a post-up menace against smaller guards. His frame suggests he still has margin to grow, and he’ll be able to strengthen well. He added too some intriguing secondary initiation skills attacking closeouts and thrived getting to the restricted area against teams that didn’t have a rim protector. Low center of gravity and tight handle.

Matus Rybar (’09, UCAM Murcia) 6’2, Guard, Slovakia

The MVP of the event was one of the key pieces of UCAM Murcia. Rybar Matus put on display some of the skills that guards need to have today: advanced ball handling skills to create space for his own shot, ability to shot the ball bot off the dribble or off the catch and, also, a nice level of off ball activity adding rim pressure as a cutter or looking for offensive rebounds. He made up for his lack of explosiveness with very nice spin moves and showed a good level of comfortability looking for contact with his opponents.

Elías Ibadín (’09. Unicaja Andalucía) 6’2, Guard, Spain

One of the most impactful players of the tournament. Physically gifted to dominate these scenarios, Elias was able to fill the sheet in every game he played. He was the player who set the tone for Unicaja on the defensive end thanks to how easy he was able to collect blocks and steals and because of this he added a ton of easy points. Nice slashing ability and good finishing form in the restricted area. The next stages of his development will be marked for the improvements he does in key areas such as outside shooting or scoring tools in the mid-range zone.