Sipahi Heads All Tournament Team


Turkeys Kenan Sipahi was named Tournament MVP
Kenan Sipahi was voted MVP of the U18 European Championship 2013

In a tournament dominated by big men, it was tall Turkish point guard Kenan Sipahi collecting the U18 European Championship MVP award and a spot on the All Tournament Team.

A player whose stats do not always reveal his true class, Sipahi battled of a nagging knee injury to take the Turkish team on his shoulders and march them to the finals.

It is the little things he does well that mark his true character as a player such as his no look assists to set up his big men for morale-boosting dunks; and game changing plays, such as his late steal against Latvia in their Second Round encounter.

But once they were in the final Sipahi provided the ultimate MVP performace, nailing back-to-back daggers in the third frame to turn an even contested game into a Turkish enslaught.

The charismatic guard ended the gold medal game with a game-high 19 points and six assists, taking his overall tournament tallys to 10.9 points and 5 assists-a-game.

Joining Sipahi in the All Tournament Team are Latvian big men Kristaps Porzingis and Anzejs Pasecniks; and the Croatian pairing of Paolo Marinelli and Domagoj Bosnjak.

Latvia's most reliable offensive option, Pasecniks paced the host nation with 12.6 points and 7.7 rebounds-per-game, catching the eye of the selection panel as Latvia reached the semi-finals before suffering a heart-wrenching loss to Croatia.

The tournament's most dominant defensive presence, Porzingis averaged 10 rebounds and a Championship-high 4.9 blocked shots-a-night.

In the bronze medal game he fell just shy of recording a triple-double with 11 points, 15 rebounds and nine blocked shots.

Marinelli's best work came at the tournament's end. The point guard led the team with 22 points and nine assists in a quarter-final win over Russia before adding 16 and five in Croatia's semi-final victory against host nation Latvia.

Marinelli paced the Croatian offence in the first half of the Championship Final, scoring 12 points before finishing with 14.

Bosnjak was another standout member of a Croatian side that featured a number of capable scorers en route to the silver medal.

The 1.97m small forward averaged 9.6 points and 5.8 rebounds-per-game over the course of the tournament, including games of 26 and 19 points in Group Stage encounters against Italy and Turkey.

Serbia head coach Aleksandar Bucan was presented with the Fair Play Award for his outstanding sportsmanship behaviour throughout the tournament.


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