Young Turks claim another European title in basketball

DHA Photo

Host Turkey beat Serbia 85-68 to win the U-18 European Basketball Championship on Aug. 3 in the Central Anatolian province of Konya.

Okben Ulubay collected 15 points, five rebounds, four assists and three blocks for the champions, while Tolga Geçim led all scorers with 18 points.

The victory in Konya followed Turkey’s U-20 European Championship victory over Spain last month.
On Aug. 3, Egemen Güven, who poured in 12 points in the final, was named the most valuable player of the tournament.

Güven and most of his fellow teammates were part of the same group that won the U-16 European Championship in 2012 and the U-18 European Championship last year.

“Winning the MVP is nice but most important is winning the gold medal. And we played like a team,” said Güven.

Turkey defended its gold medal while also claiming their sixth U-18 medal to go along with 2004 and 2005 silvers and bronze in 2009 and 2011. It had been 26 years since a team defended their U-18 European Championship title and four years since a host nation won the crown in front of their home fans.

Güven led the Turks in scoring with 13.8 points per game, in addition to 6.9 rebounds and 1.8 blocked shots while shooting 61 percent from the field.

His top game probably came against Spain in which he collected 21 points, 18 rebounds and five blocks, though he had 28 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks against Montenegro as well.

In the gold medal game against Serbia, Güven made all five of his shots from the field and two-of-three free throws for 12 points to go with two rebounds and three blocks.

Team effort

But coach Ömer Uğurata acknowledged that it was a team effort that...

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