Theis, Germany Raise Eyebrows In Turkey

25 June 2012

10. Daniel Theis (Germany)
Germany were impressive at the Turgut Atakol Tournament with Daniel Theis winning MVP honours

Germany gave themselves a real confidence boost ahead of the U20 European Championship by finishing top of the standings at the Turgut Atakol Tournament.

Serbia, meanwhile, received a wake-up call after they clinched just a single win from five games.

Turkey, France, Russia and Division B side Poland also took part in the event.

None were as prolific as Frank Menz's German side, which won four of five games.

Daniel Theis deserved much of the credit because he averaged 11 points, nearly seven rebounds and two blocks in nearly 23 minutes per game.

He was voted as the tournament's MVP.

That Theis was sensational should have come as no surprise because he was hugely impressive one year ago with Germany when they played at the U20 European Championship in Bilbao and finished fifth.

In Spain, the 2.03m Theis averaged 12.7 points, 8.7 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.3 blocks.

"I'm delighted with the MVP award," Theis said.

"It's a great honour for me to be selected from among many good and talented players.

"We played a great tournament as a team and that's why I see the award as recognition of our achievement."

"It's a great honour for Daniel's excellence here at the tournament, especially when you consider how many top international players were here," Menz said of his player.

"I am personally very happy for Daniel also because I know that he's pleased with such an honour but is still continuing to work hard to get even better."

The Germans edged hosts Turkey in their first game, 54-53, and then scraped a 64-62 win over Serbia.

Russia handed Menz's side their only defeat, 64-60, but Germany rebounded with a heart-stopping 47-46 victory over France and then hammered Poland 76-57 in their last game.


10. Mateusz Ponitka (Poland)
Mateusz Ponitka led the tournament in scoring and Poland are hopeful he will also lead the charge towards Division A in July

Forward Samet Geyik looks as if he is headed for a big summer with the Turkey Under-20s.

He averaged 10.4 points as Turkey won three of their five games.

France also finished 3-2 in the tournament and one of their standout players was Leo Westermann, who averaged 12.4 points per game.

Mateusz Ponitka underlined his immense potential in the game by averaging a tournament-best 15 points per game for Poland as they clinched two wins from their five games.

Russia's Vladislav Trushkin was a real force and finished as the sixth leading scorer in the tournament at 10.6 per game and the leading rebounder at 7.4 per game.

The Russians also had two wins and three defeats.


The side that struggled the most for good results was Serbia.

Aleksandar Dzikic, the Serbia coach, spoke about his team after the tournament.

"After this tournament, we have a realistic picture of what this team can and cannot do, where we are in relation to other European teams in terms of talent, athleticism and quality," he said.

"An embellished, retouched picture of these guys doesn't do anyone any good, nor their clubs, nor Serbian basketball.

"It must be clear to everyone.

"In any case, we have a lot of hard work to do before the start of the European Championship in Slovenia."


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