Follow FIBA on Facebook
Kolenda adds MVP award to gold medal
SOFIA (FIBA U20 European Championship, Division B) – Poland's Lukasz Kolenda had the added joy of an MVP award to go with his gold medal on Sunday night in Bulgaria.
The Polish playmaker was consistent throughout the tournament, hitting double figures in scoring in every outing, including a 20-point, 8-rebound showing in the all-important Semi-Final victory over Latvia, which secured his nation's Division A status for 2019.
It was essentially that performance - and an impressive second-half showing in the Final, that saw him grab the award ahead of All-Star Five teammate Arturs Strautins. The Latvian forward finished the competition with a 20.3-point, 11.3-rebound double-double, second-best in both categories. One category he did top was efficiency per game, with 22.4.
Kolenda has a strong familiarity with the All-Star Five's center, a position filled by his Polish teammate, the towering Adrian Bogucki. The 2.12m big man ended the competition, averaging just shy of a double-double with 10.9 points and 9.9 rebounds.
Despite missing out on Division A status in 2019 after losing the Third-Place Game to Latvia, Russian guard Grigory Motovilov was given the consolation of a spot on the All-Star Five, shooting at an impressive 45.7% from the field, including 43.6% from downtown.
Rounding out the All-Star Five is silver medalist Jurij Macura. The 18-year-old, who will be back next year, produced solid all-round numbers, including a decisive 19-point, 19-rebound double-double in his sides most important game – the Semi-Final victory over Russia.