The Outstanding. Top Five League Players At EuroBasket

As EuroBasket 2015 is entering playoffs, we’ve selected our Top Five VTB United League representatives during the group stage.

Andrey Vorontsevich, Team Russia / CSKA

Team record: 1 win (vs. Bosnia and Herzegovina - 89:61) / 4 losses (vs. Israel - 73:76, vs. Poland - 79:82, vs. Finland 79:81, vs France 67:74)
Player stats: 11.0 points, 9.2 rebounds, 3.0 assists.
Although team Russia’s performance during EuroBasket 2015 has been a disappointment, Andreiy Vorontsevich, who is the reigning VTB United League playoff MVP and undoubtedly Russia’s top baller, was shining game in and game out. During the tournament he was twice acknowledged among Top Five performers, he is among top three players in rebounds and double-doubles, ninth in blocks and is the only player who hasn’t missed a shot from a free-throw line.

Kaspars Berzins, Team Latvia / Nizhniy Novgorod

Team record: 3 wins (vs. Belgium - 78:67, vs. Czech Republic - 72:65, vs. Estonia - 75:64) / 2 losses (vs. Lithuania - 49:68, vs. Ukraine - 74:75)
Player stats: 9.2 points, 3.8 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 0.6 blocks
Versatile and mobile big man Kaspars Berzins has become the X-factor on coach Ainars Bagatskis’ squad. Having defeated Belgium in their inaugural game of the tournament, team Latvia demonstrated solid playoff ambitions. Although the team didn’t manage to avoid setbacks, which included a tough blowout loss to Lithuania, Latvia managed to regain their game flow and made it to the elimination stage after finishing second in group D. The Latvians don’t have a distinguished star player and heavily rely on team effort and ball movement, and Berzins is an excellent contributor to such tempo. The big man, who is his team’s second leading scorer, numerously managed to catch his opponents by surprise with his mobility and ability to drain a bucket from any distance.
Latvia will face Slovenia with Khimki’s Zoran Dragic, who is also having an outstanding venture, in the eighth final. We will find out which team continues to pursue the European title this coming Saturday.

Peteri Koponen, Team Finland / Khimki

Team record: 2 wins (vs. Russia - 81:79, vs. Bosnia and Herzegovina - 88:59) / 3 losses (vs. France - 87:97, vs. Israel - 66:79, vs. Poland - 65:78)
Player stats: 11.6 points, 2.4 rebounds, 6.4 assists
Finland once again demonstrated that basketball is on the rise in the northern country as Coach Henrich Detmann’s squad turned into a die-hard opponent for a national team of any caliber. The Suomi fought hard against reigning European champions France and were defeated only in the overtime. In addition to that they claimed victories over Russia and BIH. Khimki's guard Peteri Koponen is the team’s leader, who scores when needed, dishes out to his partners (6th in assist during the EuroBasket) and performs in the clutch.
After the team’s most recent loss to Poland Finland will face one of the tournament’s heavy favourites Serbia at the eighth-final stage. Look out for Koponen and his squad to surprise the opposition despite being the underdog.

Nando De Colo, Team France / CSKA

Team record: 5 wins (vs. Finland - 97:87, vs. Bosnia and Herzegovina - 81:54, vs. Poland - 69:66, vs. Russia - 74:67, vs. Israel - 86:61)
Player stats: 11.6 points, 5.2 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 1.4 steals
Despite not playing basketball to their full potential yet, Team France have a perfect 5:0 record during the round robin and the reigning VTB United League MVP and CSKA guard Nando De Colo plays a huge role in his team’s success. De Colo is consistently productive as he piles up team’s second best numbers in points and steals and third in assists and rebounds. Look out for him to boost his performance during the elimination round.

Milos Teodosic, Team Serbia / CSKA

Team record: 5 wins (vs. Spain - 80:70, vs. Germany 68:66, vs. Iceland - 93:64, vs. Turkey - 91:72, vs. Italy 101:82)
Player stats: 13.4 points, 2.6 rebounds, 7.0 assists
Serbia left their group of death opponents no chances during stage one of the tournament as CSKA guard Milos Teodosic continues going to extremes with either a 0-9 three-point performance or a 13-assist (tied EuroBasket all-time record) outburst against Turkey. Last year’s FIBA World Cup finalists, led by charismatic playmaker, who scored 26 out of his team’s 101 points in a win against Italy, look impressive, however, the squad’s most important games are still to come.

Photos: eurobasket2015.org