U18 FC Barcelona Lassa gets first-ever ANGT crown!
U18 FC Barcelona Lassa is the ADIDAS NEXT GENERATION TOURNAMENT champion! Barcelona won its first ANGT title by downing Crvena Zvezda Telekom Belgrade 90-82 at Mercedes-Benz Arena in the German capital on Sunday afternoon to become the third Spanish team to win the tournament after Joventut Badalona in 2013 and Real Madrid last year. Barcelona used a very balanced offense to down Zvezda, which lost its second consecutive ANGT Championship Game. Eric Vila led the winners with 21 points on 5-of-7 three-point shooting. Sergi Martinez added 17 points, Rodions Kurucs and Maxim Esteban each scored 14, Aleix Font 13 and Pol Figueras dished 10 assists for Barcelona. Aleksa Radanov led Zvezda with 23 points, Borisa Simanic added 19, Matija Radovic 18 and Ivan Corovic 11. Vila shined early with 10 quick points, which caused Zvezda call timeout at 18-7. He got plenty of help from Martinez and Font to boost Barcelona's lead to 29-11 late in the first quarter. Corovic and Simanic helped Zvezda to return to the game, before Radovic’s third triple brought the team within 42-41. Three-pointers by Vila and Esteban put Barcelona up 50-46 at halftime. Font and Martinez stepped up after the break as Barcelona improved its defense. A jumper by Esteban gave his team a 7-point edge through three quarters and an outstanding Kurucs boosted the difference to 87-72 en route to the win and title.
First quarter: Vila shines, Barcelona gets big lead
Atoumane Diagne got Barcelona going with a jump hook and Vila erased Radovic's reverse layup with a jumper for a 4-2 start. Radanov scored around the basket, but Martinez finished a five-chance Barcelona offense with a put-back layup. A red-hot Vila struck from downtown and soon added a mid-range jumper to boost his team's lead to 12-4. Diagne made free throws to cap a 10-0 run, before Radovic stepped up with a triple. Diagne sank foul shots, which Vila followed with a stop-and-pop jumper for an 18-7 advantage. Font took over with a driving layup and Martinez scored in transition to make it a 15-point game. Aleksa Uskokovic split free throws and Corovic bettered Martinez's layup with a three-point play. Diagne dunked and a three-pointer by Esteban broke the game open at 29-11. Corovic kept pushing Zvezda but a layup by Kurucs and a buzzer-beating jumper by Font gave Barcelona a 33-17 lead after 10 minutes.
Second quarter: Radanov leads Zvezda rally
Corovic scored in penetration early in the quarter and Radanov soon gave Zvezda hope at 33-21. Barcelona struggled to score without Diagne and Vila on court, while free throws by Uskokovic and layup by Barisa Simanic brought Zvezda within single digits, 33-25. Font stepped up with back-to-back driving basket and Simanic and Stefan Momirov quickly answered for Zvezda, which became more fluid on offense. Kurucs stepped up with a put-back layup, but Radanov erased it with foul shots and Simanic added a close jumper to make it 39-33. Barcelona switched to a 2-3 zone defense off a timeout, but Radovic punished it with a timeout. Esteban answered from downtown, but Uskokovic answered with a driving layup and Radovic sank another triple to make it a 1-point game. Esteban and Radanov exchanged three-pointers and Pol Figueras gave Barcelona a 47-44 lead. Vila swished a triple and free throws by Radanov fixed the halftime score at 50-46.
Third quarter: Barcelona holds on to lead
Radanov remained unstoppable with a driving basket immediately after the break. Font and Radovic exchanged three-pointers and a layup by Martinez gave Barcelona a 55-51 lead. Simanic made free throws, but Martinez worked well in the low post to score and Kurucs buried a triple from the top of the key, which prompted Zvezda to call timeout at 60-53. Font split free throws, as Zvezda kept struggling to score against Barcelona's aggressive, full-court defense. Radanov rescued his team with a three-point play, but Barcelona circulated the ball really well to find Vila for a big three-pointer and a 64-56 margin. Kurucs banked in a close shot, but Simanic and Uskokovic kept Zvezda within 66-59. Martinez shined with a reverse layup that Simanic matched with a big slam. Corovic also dunked, but Esteban matched it with a jumper to give Barcelona a 70-63 lead.
Fourth quarter: Kurucs helps put the game on ice
Radanov scored again early in the quarter and Esteban buried a corner triple to boost his team's lead to 73-65. Figueras fed Martinez for a backdoor layup, but Radanov did better with a three-pointer. Kurucs shined with a big basket and bettered Simanic's jumper with a step-back triple that gave Barceona a double-digit lead, 80-70. An unstoppable Kurucs scored again, but a put-back basket by Radanov kept Zvezda alive. His team was not getting stops on defense, however, as Barcelona kept circulating the ball really well. Font hit a jump hook in the paint and Vila banked in a jumper that caused Zvezda to stop the game at 87-72 with 3:52 left. Simanic nailed a three-pointer, but Barcelona started to use longer possessions to run the game clock down. Martinez finished one of those with a reverse layup and even though Simanic buried another triple, Barcelona kept full control of the game until the final buzzer.
Sunday, May 15, 2016