Baltic Sea Cup Report 2015
There were some excellent close games in this year’s u16 tournament and despite hosts Estonia losing all 3 games they were also at their best in recent years. The top 3 teams of Latvia, Sweden and Finland had tightly contested games over the 3 days.
Latvia who will continue to play their basketball in Division A this summer ( Group D with Spain, Hungary and newly promoted England) had the experience of 3 key players returning from last summer’s team that finished 5th in the European Championship. Two other ’99 born players from the summer team were missing in Tallinn due to Ligament injuries, both hoping to back in time for Porto . New comers to their team did not disappoint, providing decent depth at most positions, in particular the PG play from the young Jumarla Club starlet showed promise. Always handy to have the best rebounder in the tournament as well, and a 2000 born, the future is bright!
Having scouted Sweden’s u15 (‘A&B’ teams) last June I was excited to see the best players play as one unit, they didn’t disappoint! They are a team who will fight to regain Division A status after a disappointing end to last summer’s campaign. At the time of their demotion I tweeted about my confidence in the younger Swede’s being back with a vengeance next year, my confidence is still high and I expect them to exit group A ( Albania, Romania, Switzerland, and Denmark who are likely to be the toughest test) with 4 wins in August. It was great to catch up with various coaching staff, always interesting to hear their views on the current areas for development for the team and that the players themselves must address before the summer campaign. If this team can stay healthy and with the possible addition of other players a top 3 finish will be in sight.
Top scorers for their respective teams and 1st and 2nd in the tournament Klara and Kia impressed throughout.
Finland played some of the best team basketball of the top 3 teams and should also do well this summer, despite Group D having some what many would consider to be tougher opponents not least Lithuania. They needed a Hail Mary buzzer beater 3 point effort to take Latvia to over time eventually winning 72-70 and it was Sweden who nailed a 3 pointer with 1.7 seconds left in regulation time to force over time, again Finland became eventual winners of that game (82-76) and the BSBC title rests with them for 2015. Don’t get me wrong, the 3 wins were not luck! A well balanced team and some favourite players of mine from the Espoo area are looking like real prospects for the future.
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