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MVP Ntilikina headlines All-Star Five of FIBA U18 European Championship
SAMSUN (FIBA U18 European Championship 2016) - France’s Frank Ntilikina was named MVP of the FIBA U18 European Championship after leading Les Bleuets to their first U18 gold since 2006.
The 1.96m guard turned heads with his performances in the Semi-Finals and Final, stepping up for his team with a 23-point, 9-assist, 4-rebound showing against Italy before dropping 31 points on 11-of-16 field-goal shooting against Lithuania in the Final.
It was Ntilikina's second gold medal, having previously clinched the title at the FIBA U16 European Championship 2014.
"It is the first U18 gold medal in ten years, but it is the second one for our generation, so it is really an honour to bring it back to France. I don’t have the words to describe, but it is just amazing," Ntilikina said following the Final.
Despite his outstanding individual performances the 18-year-old refused to claim the MVP accolades for himself: "The team is the real MVP, I could not do my thing without my team-mates and I’m thankful to them."
He was joined on the All-Star Five by team-mate Sekou Doumbouya, who had every reason to celebrate on Thursday. Turning 16-years-old one day after the event and playing in his first-ever European Championship, Doumbouya ended up leading the French team in points (17.8ppg) and rebounds (7.0rpg).
Lithuania were represented on the All-Star Five by Tadas Sedekerskis. The all-rounder ended the tournament as Lithuania’s most efficient player, averaging 14.5 points, 10.2 rebounds and 3.8 assists over the six games.
Davide Moretti of bronze medallists Italy took the point guard spot on the All-Star Five after guiding his side to their first podium finish in this age category since 2005, while German big man Isaiah Hartenstein rounded out the team of the tournament after averaging 14.5 points, 9.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists for the semi-finalists.