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Teams of „Tornado“ BS celebrated Easter in the international basketball tournament HNBT 2018

Friday, August 03, 2018

Two teams of „Tornado“ basketball school participated in the international basketball tournament HNBT 2018, Groningen, Netherlands. Tornado KM – “Envija” (coach D. Mikulevičius) played in group U14 and came back with gold medals. Tornado KM – 2000 (coach Š. Zablockis) competed in group U20, so this trip was more to gain some experience.

All the delegation left kaunas on the 29th of March. First stop – Heide park in Germany. While drivers took a rest, players spent all day in Heide park. After lot of fun, delegation of “Tornado” BS moved to Groningen. Boys of Tornado KM – “Envija” were accommodated in families, elder players and coaches spent few days in Hampshire Hotel.

Boys born in 2000  started their tournament playing against Baskets Akademie Weser – Ems. Players of Šarūnas Zablockis defeated opponents in result 80:42. In the evening our boys played against Myerscough Basketball Academy (Great Britain). After that game, organizers posted on their website, that Lithuanians showed great game in the first match, but can’t find any weapons in the second and lost that game 71:57. The second day of tournament wasn’t easier. First game against Donar (Netherlands) ended 63:73. The most painful defeat was in the game with BC Oostende (Belgium) team. Game went point to point for three quarters and in the last quarter opponents lead by few points. Soon, they made few mistakes and Tornado BS team organize few successfull atacs. Unfortunately, Belgians had the better end of game and celebrated victory in only one point. The last game of tournament, team of Šarūnas Zablockis played again with Baskets Akademie Weser – Ems and won again by result 59:91.

„It was quite long trip, but we didn‘t feel very tired, - said coach Šarūnas Zablockis. – It was great day at Heide park, friendly game at Bialystok when coming home, few hours in the SPA. All these entertainment filled our free time. Me and few players went to this tournament for the second time. Organisation, conditions of  accommodation and meal – everything were highest level. You can see, that everybody are very responsible about this tournament. Organizers and families of participants are ready to help for guests anytime. So, we can focus on basketball. Talking about basketball, we didn’t gain any medals. Our team were younger and this tournament was for U20. Some players of our team still lacked of skills, some of them looked really good. We won two games and lost three, but even then, when we lost, fight was good! In order to win the victory, sometimes we just needed higher players, sometimes experience, sometimes equal rotation, when Noah and Kaspar got injuries. In general, each player gained a lot of experience and, if they make right conclusion, go ahead. This tournament was like really good lesson before playofs on Lithuanian National Championship”.

Team Tornado KM – “Envija” played in group U14. First game was against Solent Kestrels (Great Britain). Long trip and thinking “that we are the best”, didn’t allow to win the game. So the start of  tournament was terrible loosing game in more than 30 points! When our team realised that this tournament is rally high level, changed their minds and started to play as they can!  They won agains local team Celeritas – Donar by result 79:51 in the second game. Next day of tournament our boys defeated another Dutch team - BV Noordkop (71:57) and in the evening won against KK Jance Ljubljana (Slovenia). The last day, Tornado KM – “Envija” fighted for gold medals against Solen Kestrels (Great Britain). Our team has psychological advantage, because wanted to revenge after first day lost. On the other hand, English won easily, so they might think that easy final game is waiting for them. However final game was great! Teams fighted till the last minute. Even not quite correct decisions of referees, didin't stop our team and they became champions of HNBT 2018!

“Tournament was really intersting and very beneficial, - said coach of Tornado KM – “Envija” Donatas Mikulevičius. – We receive many lessons, so I would like  to use this experience in the future. Firstly, how the firts game showed, if come on court, have to fight  with all our strength, no matter what nationality are the opponents. Hard and persistent work is very good, but it does’t always guarantee victories. However, without that, there would be no victories.  I felt that kids are playing like real team during this tournament - all for one and one for all! This lead us to victories! When they forgot to be as a team, mess on court started.  I’m glad, players found forces to “become a team” and ran out of loser failures. Of course, as a coach, I wanted more stability in the game. However, I hope we will learn that lessons we had and use this experience in the final4 of Lihuanian National Championship.

Photos: KM Tornado facebook
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