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NIKE International Junior Tournament
Nike IJT Final report: BC FMP vs. Zalgiris
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Zalgiris Kaunas reigned supreme Sunday afternoon by winning the Nike International Junior Tournament for the second time 78-74 over FMP on the main court at the Athens Olympic Indoor Hall (OAKA). Just hours before the biggest stars in European basketball take the floor for the Euroleague championship game, tournament MVP Donatas Motiejunas and Vaidas Cepukaitis scored 20 and 19 points, respectively, to lead Zalgiris to gold. After a 4-9 start for FMP, Zalgiris took over and remained in the driver’s seat throughout. A 10-0 run helped Zalgiris close the first quarter up 23-11. Coach Rimvydas Samulenas’s team used a very effective inside game, powered by assists from Zygimantas Janavicius and finishes from Motiejunas and Cepukaitis. Zalgiris initially did a good job in keeping tournament leading scorer Milan Macvan (82 points in 4 games) at bay in the paint. But the cunning Serbian center was effective in his retreat to three-point land, and when his opponents got in foul trouble, he worked his way in again to top his team with 28 points and 15 boards. Little by little, using big help from Branko Lazic (11 points) and Bojan Subotic (12), FMP made an impressive run to close the 41-60 gap at the end of the third quarter and come within 76-74 with a minute and 10 seconds remaining. A layup by Vytenis Lipkevicius, though, marked the last points scored in the game, and allowed Zalgiris to celebrate. Zalgiris's Sarunas Vasiliauskas, who finished with 16 points, lifted the trophy as team captain. Joining Motiejunas on the Nike All-Tournament Team are Zalgiris teammates Vasiliauskas and Cepukaitis, FMP's Macvan and Filip Kruslin of Cibona Zagreb.
Sunday, May 06, 2007
Vassilis Poulakos, Euroleague.net
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