Group C Preview

11 July 2012

11. Alejandro Abrines Redondo (Spain)
Rising star Alejandro Abrines and several of his teammates on the gold medal-winning side at the U18 European Championship in 2011, will have the difficult mission to defend Spain's title at U20 level

The four Group C teams, Turkey, Latvia, Georgia and reigning U20 European champions Spain, enter the 2012 Championship with clearly distinct aims and aspirations.


Turkey's finest moment in the U20 European Championship came in 2006 when they rode a strong performance by Ersan Ilyasova to the silver medal.

Ilyasova was the MVP of the tournament and has gone on to become a leading player for the country at senior level.

Last year, Turkey reached the Quarter-Finals but they had the luxury of throwing 2.07m power forward Furkan Aldemir at opponents. Aldemir was so good that he nearly made Turkey's EuroBasket squad.

The excellent rebounding forward won't be present in 2012 but point guard Safak Edge, who played an average of 22 minutes per game last season, will. Experience at the playmaker position will be important.

The 2.00m power forward Samet Geyik shone for the team at last year's U18 European Championship and has had some good games in the build-up to Slovenia.

Ertugrul Erdogan will coach the Turkish team.


Spain have been on the podium for several years in a row, with Nikola Mirotic of Real Madrid scooping the tournament's MVP award in 2011 after firing the team to gold.

One player certain to make an impact this summer is Alejandro Abrines, the MVP of the U18 European Championship in 2011.

Abrines, a 1.98m guard/forward, played big minutes for Unicaja Malaga this season and looks set for stardom.

Forward Joan Tomas got to play a lot in last year's team and contributed points and rebounds and should feature for Spain as they go after another medal.

Luis Guil will lead this talented Spanish group.


Latvia made it to the Quarter-Finals in 2011 and Arturs Bricis provided some scoring punch for the team, averaging 9.7 points from the shooting guard position.

Bricis is eligible for the team again, which means they have a points provider.

There is a real buzz about Kaspars Vecvagars, too, a 1.93m point guard who averaged 15 points, 3.9 assists and 3.8 rebounds at the U19 World Championship last year.

Roberts Stelmahers, the former Latvia international, is to coach the team.


Georgia won promotion and the Division B title one year ago.

Duda Sanadze, a 1.96m small forward, had a solid tournament. He averaged 12.2 points per game and poured in 16 in the gold-medal triumph over Estonia.

Merab Bokolishvili and Nodar Tenieshvili each got playing time in last year's team and will now have more of an opportunity to show what they can do.




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