U16 Tournament Tips Off In Turkey

01 February 2013
MVP Okben Ulubay (Turkey)
The TBF will act as an indicator as to which player could follow Okben Ulubay and be named MVP at this summer's European U16 Championship

Some of Europe's future stars, that will introduce themselves internationally at the U16 European Championship Men in Ukraine in August, are showcasing their skills to a Turkish audience throughout this week.

The 2013 edition of the now famous annual International U16 Tournament of the Turkish Basketball Federation (TBF) tips off on Friday evening, in the city of Sakarya.

Ten European U16 national teams are taking part, along with their counterparts from China and Argentina, split into two groups of six teams each.

Host nation Turkey are joined by Latvia, Sweden, Serbia, France and China in Group A.

Ukraine, who will host the U16 European Championship hosts this summer, are drawn in Group B with Germany, Greece, Slovenia, Montenegro and Argentina.

The top four teams in each group will advance to the quarter-finals, with the big final taking place on Saturday 9 February.

The venues of the tournament are Sakarya Atatürk Arena and Lütfü Yaman Sports Hall, just like in last year's edition.

FIBA Europe is actively present at the event, through its clinic for Referee candidates.

The candidates will officiate the games and also undergo physical tests and attend classes under the guidance of FIBA Europe Head of Operations Miguel Betancor; Head of Competitions and Referee Department Richard Stokes; and FIBA Europe Referee Instructor Alan Richardson.

"We have 30 candidates and obviously they're hoping to become a FIBA referee at the end of this clinic," explained Stokes.

"This is the next generation of FIBA referees for all European competitions.

"We made a change recently, which is reducing this program into one year.

"We thought that it will be enough to come to a good high-level tournament, and that's why the TBF International U16 Tournament was chosen for this clinic."

Sakarya Governor Mustafa Büyük meanwhile said: "We are pleased to host such a prestigious and important tournament again in our city."

"I would like to thank the Turkish Basketball Federation and the other contributors for this organisation."

"As a former basketball player and manager, I can say that Turkey is the best host country for such a tournament," added TBF board member Celal Arısan.

"Good luck and best wishes for all the teams here."

Egypt were proclaimed champions in the 2012 tournament, after prevailing over Poland 83-73 in the final.

Russia meanwhile defeated Germany in the bronze medal game while Serbia topped hosts Turkey for fifth place.

The Turks took sweet revenge over the Serbians the following summer, by edging them out in the semi-final of the U16 European Championship and then beating France in the final to conquer the gold medal.



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