U20 Men All Star Team and MVP

01.08.2004

Jon Ingram

12 teams, 144 players but only 5 can make the All-Star team. At the Trans Eural Gas European Championship for U20 Men the five were Yotam Halperin (ISR), Ivan Koljevic (SCG), Kostas Vasileiadis (GRE) Linas Kleiza (LTU) and Erazem Lorbek (SLO).

It was clear that the MVP race was between Halperin and Lorbek and it was Lorbek who received the award thanks to his side's victory in the gold medal game.

Ivan Koljevic
Halperin was unlucky not to win the competition's top individual award. He played to his usual high standards throughout the tournament, averaging a team high 20.4 ppg.

But it was his quarter and semi-final performances that set him apart.

After badly spraining an ankle, Halperin was limited to shooting from the outside in both games. He made 10/13 three-pointers, including 32 points in the semi-final victory against Greece.

Another player who displayed a lethal shooting touch was Koljevic. Undersized for the 2 guard position (he is 186 cm) he makes up for his lack of height with his ability to shoot the ball.

He made 52% of his 3-point shots in the tournament and 64% of his 2-point shots, putting up 20.4 ppg for Serbia & Montenegro.

Linas Kleiza followed a great showing at the 2003 World Championship for U19 Men with another quality tournament here in Brno. He was once again Lithuania's top scorer (17.5 ppg) and recorded a competition high 36 points against Ukraine in the first round.

While Kleiza had the single game high, Vasileiadis was the competition's top overall scorer. He averaged 25.5 ppg in 8 games for Greece and broke the 30-point barrier twice, against Ukraine (32) and Serbia & Montenegro (33).

Kostas Vasileiadis

Last, but very much not least, was the All-Star center and MVP, Erazem Lorbek. Lorbek earned the same title at the 2002 European Championship for U18 Men, but with a different kind of performance.

In 2002, Lorbek dominated, leading the competition in both scoring and rebounding. In 2004, he picked his moments to shine. Luckily for Slovenia, he chose well and his 2 outstanding performances came in the quarters and semis.

Lorbek was unstoppable against Russia in the quarters and he scored 31 points in the 74:67 win. In the semis, he spearheaded a huge win over Lithuania, this time netting 26 points in just 29 minutes.


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