U18 Zalgiris defends ANGT Kaunas title 0

The hosts team U18 Zalgiris Kaunas has defended its title at the Euroleague Basketball ADIDAS NEXT GENERATION TOURNAMENT Qualifying Tournament – Kaunas by topping its Lithuanian archrival U18 Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius 87-76 in Sunday’s final at the Zalgirio Arena.

The victory and third consecutive qualifying tournament title has earned Zalgiris a place at the 2015-16 EB AGNT Finals in Berlin next spring.

Tournament MVP Isaiah Hartenstein collected 29 points, 12 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 blocks to lead Zalgiris, which also won ANGT Kaunas events in 2011-12, 2013-14 and 2014-15 – all of them without a defeat, holding a perfect 16-0 record. Arnas Velicka picked up 18 points and 16 assists in victory, and also joined Hartenstein on the All-Tournament team.

Aistis Pilauskas scored 23 points for Rytas, while Grantas Vasiliauskas and Tadas Vaiciunas both added 15 points in defeat. Vasiliauskas is another member of the All-Tournament team, along with Jakub Tuma of U18 USK Future Stars Prague and Bathiste Tchouaffe of U18 INSEP Paris.

The ANGT Finals will take place from May 12 to 15, during the weekend of the 2016 Turkish Airlines Euroleague Final Four in Berlin, Germany. Zalgiris joins EB ANGT Qualifying Tournament – Torneo Citta di Roma winner U18 Mega Leks Belgrade, as well as the defending ANGT champion and EB ANGT Qualifying Tournament – L’Hospitalet winner U18 Real Madrid. The trio will also be joined in Berlin by the winner of the final qualifying tournament: ANGT Belgrade, February 26 to 28.

In earlier action on Sunday, U18 Cibona Zagreb locked up third place at ANGT Kaunas by defeating U18 INSEP Paris 71-68. Karlo Uljarevic flirted with a triple-double for Cibona with 19 points, 8 rebounds, 9 assists and 4 steals in 40 minutes. Josip Popic had 18 points and 7 rebounds and Mate Mandic scored 15 points. Bathiste Tchouaffe led the way for INSEP with 18 points, 4 rebounds and 8 assists.