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Tornado KM ‒ „Alburnus“ came back from the Netherlands with championship title: kids played well because they enjoyed!

Thursday, April 25, 2019

April 18th, 2019 team Tornado KM with coach Šarūnas Zablockis went to annual HNBT 2019 international basketball tournament in Groningen. The Netherlands. Last year, team 2004 with coach Donatas Mikulevičius became champions of this tournament, so boys norn in 2005 also had to hardwork to maintain the championship label.

After leaving Kaunas on Thursday afternoon, they made their first longer stop in Heide Park, Germany. Kids spent the whole day there, trying out the attractions and getting a lot of excitement. After drivers had rested, and journey was extended. Next and final stop was Groningen. The children settled in the families of local basketball players and the next day the tournament awaited.

There were 8 teams in group U14, splitted in two soubgroups:

A group B group
team Nord - Germany EWE Baskets / OTB (Oldenburg) -  Germany
BK Nova Hut Ostrava - Czech Republic Tornado KM - Lithuania
BVG (Groningen) – The Netherlands MBCA Amsterdam – The Netherlands
MAFC - Hungary Celeritas-Donar - The Netherlands

On the first day of tournament Tornado KM – „Alburnus“ debuted by beating EWE Baskets / OTB (Oldenburg) (Germany) with a score of 14:62. Game against MBCA (The Netherlands) was waiting in evening. This match was a little bit tougher, but our playes gain victory 53 – 69 anyway. “The second was easier, so this allowed us to try out some of the playable elements and players, who spend less time on court, prove their value”, - said coach of the team Šarūnas Zablockis. – The last game in the soubgroup was with champions of Netherlands – “Celeritas Donar”. Although the final score 42 - 79 (Tornado BS vitory) does not reflect the true capacity of the opponent, Celeritas Donar was very good and full of tall players team. For example, centre was 204 in height and our tallest palyer – 190. I can really praise the kids for starting the match very well, especially the first quarter. Such a teams like our opponents don’t know how to play when the scoreboard shows result not in their favor. And we did everything great. We scored eight three-points in the first half of game and the difference between teams just got too big for Celeritas - Donar basketball players to hit us”. Guests from Hungary have been waiting for Tornado KM – “Alburnus” team in the semifinal. Although our players won the game with a score of 43-60, the coach said the match was not easy: “It was another very tall and physically stronger team. We beat them by demonstrating team game and good shooting. Of course, there was also some luck here. At the beginning of the fourth quarter the opponent's coach had to leave the field for two technical fouls and that also helped us”. Hardwork paid off and our team played in the final game for gold medals. “German team – Nors became our opponent in final game. They won all matches in the soubgroup, beated other teams in lot of points. This team was taller in all possitions. I’m very happy, beccause we played the best our game in the final”, - said coach Šarūnas. Having beaten the Germans by a score of 62 - 49, the Tornado KM – “Alburnus” basketball players back to Lithuania with first place cups and gold medals. “I’m verry happy with the kids, - said coach. Š. Zablockis. – We played very well because children felt happy! There were no pressure by responsibility and from fans. Such a factors as statistics and competition between players usually complicate games in the Lithuanian Pupil’s league. Would be perfect, if fans only support players and we deal with other problems inside our team. Such a tournaments, when you spend almost one week in different environment, helps to see real faces and characters of the children. That helps to handle a lot of internal affairs of the team. To sum up, I can really praise players, because their behaviot was good, both on - court and out of gym. I also want to thank tournament organizers – everything was TOP level. Childred have gained invaluable experience. We have improved in every way.”

Marius Mažeika was awarded as a symbolic 5 player and Edvinas Bublys becaume the best payer of all tournam

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