One of the annual basketball highlights at the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Final Four is the opportunity to see the stars of tomorrow at the EUROLEAGUE BASKETBALL ADIDAS NEXT GENERATION TOURNAMENT Finals, which this season will see a new European junior champion crowned. Eight of the world's finest 18-and-under teams arrive in Belgrade to fight for the ANGT title. The group stage of the tourney will be played at the famed Aleksandar Nikolic Hall, however, the championship game will take place at Stark Arena hours before the 2018 Turkish Airlines EuroLeague champion will be decided on the same floor.
The ANGT Finals is always a high point in what has become the best weekend in basketball, with the 13-game event giving fans an opportunity to see the best and brightest of the next generation of stars. In fact, each of this season's Final Four squads has several ANGT alumni on its roster: Nikita Kurbanov, Alexander Gankevich and Mikhail Kulagin for CSKA Moscow; Luigi Datome, Marko Guduric and Egehan Arna for Fenerbahce Dogus Istanbul; Santiago Yusta, Luka Doncic and Dino Radoncic for Real Madrid; and Axel Toupane, Martynas Sajus, Gytis Masiulis, Vasilije Micic, Martynas Arlauskas and Edgaras Ulanovas of Zalgiris Kaunas.
This year marks the 16th anniversary of the event, which debuted in 2003 in Barcelona and attracts more and more attention from the basketball world from year to year. This season's finals features reigning ANGT Finals champ U18 CFBB Paris and four other former champions: ANGT Kaunas winner U18 Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius, ANGT Munich victor U18 Real Madrid, ANGT Belgrade titlist U18 Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade and ANGT L'Hospitalet champ U18 Divina Seguros Joventut. U18 FC Bayern Munich, U18 Mega Bemax Belgrade - which reached the ANGT title game last season, and U18 Stellazzurra Rome will each look for its first ANGT title in the Serbian capital.
Group A features U18 CBFF Paris, which took the crown in 2010 and 2017; U18 Real Madrid, which lifted the trophy in 2015; 2012 winner U18 Lietuvos Rytas Belgrade and U18 Mega Bemax Belgrade. Group B will be equally competitive with 2013 champion U18 Divina Seguros Joventut, 2014 winner U18 Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade, U18 FC Bayern Munich and U18 Stellazzurra Rome.
The group stages of the finals will take place over three days, from Thursday, May 17 through Saturday, May 19, at Aleksandar Nikolic Hall, arguably the most famous basketball venue in Belgrade. There is free admission to all games, including the final at Stark Arena, which gives fans without tickets to the Final Four a chance to feel the atmosphere in the arena, too.
The EUROLEAGUE BASKETBALL ADIDAS NEXT GENERATION TOURNAMENT started with 32 different teams dreaming of becoming the junior champs of Europe. Only one of them will be celebrating at the end of the weekend!