Zalgiris wins El Corte Inglés Junior Tournament
Zalgiris Kaunas is the champion of the first El Corte Inglés International Junior Tournament that was organized by the Euroleague during the Final Four. Zalgiris defeated Maccabi Tel Aviv in the final, 87-80, after a very tough and close game. Both teams qualified to the finals with a perfect 3-0 record in the first stage. Neither of the teams was able to make a run in the first 17 minutes of the game, and the lead changed hands many times. In the last quarter Zalgiris took off to an eight-point lead, and managed to hold it until the end. Maccabi's players, who played 130 minutes of basketball in 30 hours, couldn't repeat the comebacks they made in the last 2 games, and stepped off the court with an 87-80 loss.
The future stars of European basketball are coming to Barcelona, too, with the announcement of the El Corte Inglés Junior Tournament. For the first time in history, a tournament of the top European competition will be accompanied by a junior tournament. With the clear intention of showing that their thoughts are on the future as well as the present, eight Euroleague clubs will be sending the stars-to-be of their junior teams to Barcelona next week: AEK, Barcelona, CSKA, Maccabi Tel Aviv, Pau-Orthez, Zalgiris, Cibona and Union Olimpija. Eight teams, eight coaches with their assistants, and most of all, 96 players who are not only the future of their own clubs, but also of the Euroleague.
Surely the highest-level tournament of this category ever organized in Europe, the El Corte Inglés Junior Tournament guarantees quality competition. It has already made a big impact in Europe and will be followed intensely throughout the continent. The champion of the tournament will be honored during halftime of the Euroleague title game on Sunday, May 11. It will be a unique opportunity for these future stars to feel the fantastic atmosphere of a Euroleague Final Four, and to keep dreaming about being protagonists of one in the years to come.