MVP Makitan will always remember Igokea's magical YBCL run in Bursa
BURSA (Turkey) - The Turkish city Bursa will forever be engrained in the memory of Dusan Makitan as the power forward helped Igokea m:tel become the first ever Youth Basketball Champions League winner, hoisted the trophy as captain and was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player.
Makitan collected the hardware at the Tofas Nilüfer Spor arena after he tallied 15 points, 17 rebounds, 3 assists and 6 blocks in a 73-66 win over hosts Tofas SC in the YBCL Final. For the tournament, Makitan averaged 18.3 points, 12.0 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 2.3 steals and 1.2 blocks. He ranked fourth in scoring and second in rebounds.
That effort earned Makitan the MVP trophy, and he topped the All-Star Five, where he was joined by Igokea teammate Ognjen Radosic, Ozgur Cengiz of Tofas SC, Ernestas Matulevic of BC Rytas and Roe Averni from Hapoel Jerusalem.
"It means everything to us. We couldn't have imagined it before. But somehow we did it and we are so proud of ourselves," Makitan said of helping his club win the tournament.
And about winning the MVP award, he said: "It is a big deal. I didn’t believe in that before but I did it somehow."
A power forward from Banja Luka, Makitan was outstanding the whole YBCL. With the team missing two of their main leaders Ognjen Radosic and Ognjen Stankovic for the first two games, Makitan set the tone early in the competition with 26 points, 11 rebounds, 5 assists and 5 steals in the opening win over Oostende CORETEC Basketball Academy.
In the third group game against Basketball Academy Nymburk, Makitan collected 20 points and 9 rebounds before finishing group play with 33 points and 13 rebounds against Hapoel Jerusalem. Makitan showed his team can rely on him in the Semi-Finals against BC Rytas as he played all 40:00 minutes and netted 9 points to go with 14 rebounds and 2 assists.
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Makitan stressed the importance of the club from Bosnia and Herzegovina winning the first YBCL championship.
"It's a very important thing because it's the first time the championship is happening. It's a big deal for our club and our country. Our coach and staff are really proud of us," he said.
The rest of the All-Star Five can also be proud of their performances.
Radosic finished with 19.5 points, 4.0 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.8 steals. Cengiz led the tournament in scoring with 20.3 points and was also tops with 7.8 assists and 3.8 steals while adding 7.2 rebounds. In addition, the Tofas guard recorded the first triple-double in YBCL history with 16 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists against Hapoel Jerusalem.
Matulevic helped Rytas to third place as he averaged 12.2 points, 8.5 rebounds and 2.8 assists. And the Jerusalem center Avneri tallied 18.7 points, 10.0 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.8 steals.