Zalgiris, Rytas set up date in first-place game
U18 Zalgiris Kaunas and U18 Rytas Vilnius set up a date in the Euroleague Basketball Adidas Next Generation Tournament Kaunas first-place game as the former continental champions both finished atop their groups. The winner of the first place game will advance to the ANGT Finals at the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Final Four in Cologne, Germany, where it will join U18 Herbalife Gran Canaria and U18 Real Madrid, the first place finishers at the ANGT Valencia and ANGT Munich, respectively.
Zalgiris, the winner of the competition in 2003 and 2007, booked its berth in the Sunday’s top game at Zalgirio Arena by surviving with a 74-71 victory over U18 Umana Reyer Venice. Ugnius Jarusevicius nailed the game-winning three-pointer with 4.3 seconds left and Paulius Murauskas had 16 points and 8 rebounds to give Zalgiris the top spot in Group A at 3-0. Reyer finished at 1-2. U18 Nanterre 92 came back from a 14-point fourth quarter deficit to collect its second victory by knocking off fellow debutant U18 Casademont Zaragoza 86-94 in overtime with Victor Wembanyama setting a new competition record in blocks. Wembanyama tallied 22 points, 15 rebounds and 9 blocks - eclipsing the previous ANGT single game record of 8 blocks.
In Group B, the 2012 and 2018 continental champion Rytas claimed the top position after beating U18 Joventut Badalona 84-75 with Augustas Marciulionis collecting 25 points, 4 rebounds, 7 assists and 11 fouls drawn for a performance index rating of 30 and Azoulas Tubelis picking up 14 points, 18 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals and 4 blocks for a PIR of 36. The other Group B game saw U18 Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul grab its first victory in Kaunas by beating U18 Barking Abbey London 99-84. David Mutaf collected 27 points, 9 rebounds and 4 assists in helping Fenerbahce come back from a 12-point third quarter deficit while Yigit Onan had 26 points. Both Fenerbahce and Barking had 1-2 records in the group.
Sunday’s slate will also have Zaragoza face Fenerbahce in a game for seventh place, Reyer will play in a fifth place game against Barking, while Nanterre and Joventut will square off in a third-place game.