The 2010 edition of the Nike International Junior Tournament presents a new champion on the list as INSEP won the title game against FMP with an 83-73 victory on the main court of the Palais Omnisports Paris Bercy on Sunday afternoon in Paris, France. This is the first participation of INSEP, the French academy for sports, in the competition, and it finished with class on the top spot of the podium. FMP participated in the final game for the 4th time in a row, but will have to settle for the 2nd spot after winning the title back to back in 2008 and 2009. INSEP revenged FMP for the an earlier loss this season in the final game of the Belgrade Nike International Junior Tournament, one of the 4 qualifying games held to set the participating teams in the Final Four event. The winners took over the game late in the first half, and didn't allow FMP to take the lead back throughout the entire 2nd half. FMP, who reached the title game after winning its last two games on the buzzer, didn't perform as good as before and hit only 2 three pointers in 16 attempts to damage its chances to win. Hugo Invernizzi was the top scorer for the new champs with 16 points followed by Livio Jean-Charles and Ulysse Adjagba with 15 points each, while William Howard scored 10. Nenad Miljenovic topped FMP's scoresheet with 20 points and 7 rebounds, Nemanja Bezbradica added 15 and Nikola Jankovic summed his debut performance with 12 points.
INSEP had the better answers in the first minutes as Invernizzi and Jean-Charles created a 5-0 lead, but failed to use FMP's bad start to create a bigger gap. It took FMP 4 minutes to score its first points, when Nikola Siladi scored a catch-and-shoot three pointer. Luka Pajkovic scored 4 quick ones to create FMP's first lead, 7-9, but INSEP used Howard coming from the bench with great momentum. The forward wrote 2 steals, drew 2 fouls and scored 6 points in 4 minutes to carry his team to a 17-11 lead after 10 minutes. Howard started the 2nd quarter with a great drive, but FMP went inside and scored from close range to cut the margin back to 2. Invernizzi hit his 2nd three pointer but saw Bezbradica show his dominance in the paint at the other side of the court and give his team a 30-26 lead after 16 minutes. INSEP continued to put big pressure on Miljenovic and managed to halt the Serbian offense, to create another run. Jean-Charles scored from close range, Benjamin John hit a corner three pointer and Invernizzi showed he can score also on the drive with two lay ups, to write a 10-0 run and hold a 36-30 lead. Right before the break FMP managed to create points when Pavlovic finished a fast break with a dunk and sent the teams to the half time stoppage divided by 4 points, 36-32.
Adjagba tipped off the 2nd half with 6 quick points, and reactivated the 10 point gap, but Jankovic displayed his strong body and inside game to score the next 6 points of FMP and make it 46-41 after 24 minutes. Howard and Jean-Charles scored to keep INSEP above but right before the third buzzer Miljenovic picked up his game. He scored on the drive, added a post-up basket and cut the difference to 53-50. Right before the buzzer he wrote a big block on John, but it took more than that to silence INSEP. Keita and Adjagba drove to the rim to sample what is about to come. Invernizzi added another great shot from the arc, followed with a great assist to a Jean-Charles dunk and when Keita finished a fast break with a big slam INSEP held a 70-58 lead with only 5 minutes to play. FMP needed quick answers and Bezbradica created points to cut the margin to 8, but Jean-Charles dished a great assist to an Invernizzi three pointer and Yannis Morin dunked to maintain the gap on 10, 75-65 this time inside the last 3 minutes. Miljenovic tried to save the day and scored 6 in a row but INSEP continued to score and enter the last 70 seconds with a 79-69 lead. Miljenovic wrote a steal and finished quickly at the other end, but when Bogdanovic missed a three pointer FMP lost all hope to keep its title.
Sunday, May 9, 2010