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22 November, 2021
28 February, 2023
Who was the MVP of each nation in the November window?
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Who was the MVP of each nation in the November window?

MUNICH (Germany) - The first window is in the books for the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 European Qualifiers with several standout performers stepping up for their country.

Our experts, who followed all the action closely, have had a look at the individual players that impressed and selected their MVP of the November window for each team.

Group A

Belgium BEL

Sam Van Rossom - PG / 1.88m / 1986
Statistics: 17.0 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 4.0 APG

Van Rossom certainly stepped up when it counted for Belgium. Tied game in Mons against the powerhouse of Serbia and the 35-year-old drained a huge go-ahead triple with a minute left on the clock before icing the game from the foul line. Van Rossom had 20 points in the win along with 4 rebounds and 3 assists having contributed 14 points and 5 assists to the opening win with Ismael Bako also enjoying a solid window for the Belgian Lions.

Serbia SRB

Milos Teodosic - PG / 1.95m / 1987
Statistics: 17.5 PPG, 8.5 APG

Teodosic was back running the show for Serbia as they split their games in dramatic fashion. The veteran point guard netted 21 points, whilst handing out 9 assists to help his side come through a thriller on the opening night in Belgrade in 24 minutes of action against Latvia. Teodosic came close to the double-double again a few days later with 14 points and 8 assists, but was unable to haul Serbia over the line on this occasion as they were beaten on the road by Belgium.

Latvia LAT

Rihards Lomazs - G / 1.93m / 1996
Statistics: 30.5 PPG, 3.0 APG, 52% 3PT

61 points. Lomazs was lights out for Latvia and almost helped deliver the perfect window. The 25-year-old was a combined 12-of-23 shooting from three-point range across the two games with a 55 percent shooting accuracy overall. Lomazs fired in 33 points in the agonizing one-point loss to Serbia in Belgrade before leading the charge on home soil with 28 points against Slovakia.

Slovakia SVK

Vladimir Brodziansky - PF / 2.06m / 1994
Statistics: 19.5 PPG, 7.0 RPG, 2.5 APG

Brodziansky played a leading role once more for Slovakia as they endured a mixed window amongst a tough group. The 27-year-old put up 18 points and 8 rebounds in the opening game, but did also have 7 turnovers in a heavy 26-point loss at home to Belgium. However, Brodziansky starred in an improved performance against Latvia with 21 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists with Simon Krajcovic the only other player to average double figures in scoring across the two games for Slovakia.

Group B

Belarus BLR

Maksim Salash - PF / 2.06m / 1996
Statistics: 21.5 PPG, 6.0 RPG, 3.5 APG

Salash was hugely influential in leading Belarus to an upset win over Turkey in the opening game in Minsk. The 25-year-old scored the bulk of his 26 points in the early stages to lift his side towards a big victory to set the tone in a now wide-open group. Salash then had 17 points and 8 rebounds away from home against Greece with his side suffering a 10-point loss to drop back to 1-1 for the window with crucial games against Great Britain to follow.

Turkey TUR

Shane Larkin - PG / 1.82m / 1992
Statistics: 22.0 PTS, 4.0 REB, 8.0 AST

Just the one appearance for Larkin, but it was a vital one for Turkey to help salvage their window. Following an opening loss, Turkey found themselves 13 points down at home to Great Britain before Larkin helped turn the tide and went on to finish with 22 points and 8 assists as well as 4 rebounds for an impressive efficiency valuation of 30. Larkin was perfect from inside the arc and shot 70 percent overall from the floor, whilst also showing his defensive spirit with a couple of rejections in the bounceback win.

Greece GRE

Dimitrios Agravanis - PF / 2.08m / 1994
Statistics: 16.5 PPG, 7.5 RPG

Agravanis was a standout performer for Greece as they also finished the window with a win and a loss to their name. The forward led the effort with 19 points and 8 rebounds in a defeat to Great Britain on the road as they squandered a promising position. Agravanis then contributed 14 points and 7 rebounds in just 16 minutes of a home victory over Belarus in a game that Greece desperately needed to win to avoid falling behind in the group.

Great Britain GBR

Teddy Okereafor - G / 1.91m /1992
Statistics: 11.5 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 3.0 APG

Okereafor marked his record-breaking 50th consecutive cap for Great Britain with one of his best performances on the international stage. The 29-year-old guard put in an all-round display with 19 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals in the nine-point victory over Greece in Newcastle. Okereafor was also a perfect 4-of-4 from three-point range on the night, though did struggle to find the same range in GB's following loss to Turkey.

Group C

Slovenia SLO

Klemen Prepelic - SG / 1.89m / 1992
Statistics: 23.0 PPG, 5.0 APG

Prepelic showed all of his experience to ensure Slovenia came through a testing first window unscathed. The 29-year-old was part of the historic Olympic roster in the summer and set the ball rolling on the path to the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023. Prepelic poured in 30 points in the home win over Sweden including a hot streak in the third quarter having finished with 16 points in Zagreb against Croatia after overcoming early shooting struggles - netting 9 points in the fourth including a couple of big and-1 plays.

Sweden SWE

Ludvig Hakanson - PG / 1.87m / 1996
Statistics: 20.5 PPG, 2.5 RPG, 12.0 APG

Hakanson is the clear early leader in the assists category for the Qualifiers after dishing out a combined total of 24 for Sweden in their two games that contained a win and a loss. The point guard didn't hold back from putting the ball in the basket himself either with Hakanson netting 20+ points in each encounter. The 25-year-old had 20 points and 10 assists in the derby win against Finland before almost leading his side to an upset win in Slovenia with an impressive effort of 21 points and 14 assists in defeat.

Finland FIN

Shawn Huff - PF / 1.98m / 1984
Statistics: 8.5 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 1.5 BPG

Huff did not have the best of games to open the window as Finland were beaten by Sweden in Stockholm, but the 37-year-old bounced back on home soil with a key contribution of 14 points and 9 rebounds in a six-point win over Croatia. Huff also came up with 2 assists and 2 blocks in the win with three other players in double figures for Finland as they had a number of players make solid contributions across their two games, as they stand at 1-1.

Croatia CRO

Filip Bundovic - SG / 2.06m / 1994
Statistics: 16.0 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 3.0 APG

Bundovic was making a senior debut for the national team at the age of 27 and impressed the home crowd in Zagreb with 16 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists as Croatia fell short of beaten the reigning European champions, Slovenia. The shooting guard then scored 16 points again in their next game with 5-of-7 shooting in just 14 minutes of action against Finland. A positive to take in an otherwise disappointing window for Croatia.

Group D

Israel ISR

Gal Mekel - PG / 1.90m / 1988
Statistics: 10.5 PPG, 6.5 APG, 83% 3PT

Mekel made up for any absences in the backcourt with strong leadership to guide Israel to a 2-0 start to their campaign. The 33-year-old netted 11 points in the win against Poland before contributing 10 points and 10 assists in a double-double display as Israel defeated Estonia. With Tamir Blatt not present, Mekel produced reliable, solid performances as part of a strong overall window for Israel with Nimrod Levi and Yam Madar amongst others playing well.

Estonia EST

Kristian Kullamae - PG / 1.94m / 1999
Statistics: 13.0 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 5.5 APG

One of the rising stars in the FIBA EuroBasket 2022 Qualifiers, Kullamae is quickly expanding his role on the national team for Estonia. The emerging guard certainly played his part in the memorable triumph over Germany with 15 points, 4 rebounds and 7 assists, in Nurnberg. Estonia did not manage to make it the perfect window with a 10-point home loss against unbeaten Israel with Kullamae again imprinting himself onto the statsheet to showcase his versatility.

Germany GER

David Kramer - PG / 1.90m / 1997
Statistics: 14.5 PPG, 2.5 RPG, 58% FG

Kramer brushed off a shaky start to the window with 5 points on 2-of-6 shooting against Estonia to fire in 24 points and lead Germany to a first victory as they overcame Poland in Lublin. The 24-year-old was 9-of-13 from the floor to earn more playing time with Germany +8 with Kramer on court in the three-point win. It was also a solid window for Christian Sengfelder, who joined Kramer in averaging 14.5 points per game across the two games.

Poland POL

Aleksander Balcerowski - C / 2.15m / 2000
Statistics: 13.5 PPG, 6.5 RPG, 4.5 BPG

Only just turned 21 years of age, Balcerowski is already a focal point for Poland at both ends of the floor. The towering center registered nine blocks across the two games with no other player in the European Qualifiers accumulating more than six so far, whilst scoring 16 points on 7-of-9 shooting against Germany. In a tough window for Poland, the performances from Balcerowski will be encouraging as he continues to develop into an important player for the national team. 

Group E

France FRA

Louis Labeyrie - PF / 2.09m / 1992
Statistics: 18.5 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 82% FG

Labeyrie caught they eye for France with almost 20 points per game coming at an eye-popping 82-percent shooting from the floor. Another Valencia representative, Labeyrie did not miss a shot in the second of France's two wins with a perfect 7-of-7 in 19 points against Hungary to go with 6 rebounds. #99 also put on a show for the home crowd in Pau in the opening game with 18 points, 5 rebounds and a block as his side overcame Montenegro for a six-point win.

Montenegro MNE

Vladimir Mihailovic - SG / 1.93m / 1990
Statistics: 19.5 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 3.5 SPG, 69% 3PT

This could also have been Justin Cobbs after the point guard top scored with 22 points in the home win over Portugal, but Mihailovic just shades his teammate. The shooting guard fired in five triples in a 23-point haul against France in an opening loss before backing up Cobbs' effort with 16 points having also collected a combined seven steals across the two games. Mihailovic had the fourth-best three-point percentage for the window with only Rihards Lomazs and Thaddus McFadden netting more than his nine.

Hungary HUN

Akos Keller - PF / 2.08m / 1989
Statistics: 10.5 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 67% FG

The 32-year-old played a pivotal part in Hungary's opening success with 15 points - with just one miss from the floor - combined with 7 rebounds and 5 assists against Portugal. Keller is back playing on home soil domestically, but enjoyed the travels with the performance on the road. However, Hungary were unable to delight their home fans in their matchup with France and Keller was kept to 6 points and 4 rebounds in a heavy defeat.

Portugal POR

Daniel Relvao - C / 2.08m / 1996
Statistics: 16.0 PTS, 4.0 REB, 71% FG

Just the one game for Relvao, but enough to make an impact for Portugal with 16 points on 71-percent shooting along with 4 rebounds against Montenegro. The Sporting center faced a challenging battle in Podgorica amidst a challenging window for Portugal with two defeats already to their name. Lessons to be learned and those kind of performances can spark much-needed confidence at this level with Relvao and Portugal hoping to push on in the next window.

Group F

Lithuania LTU

Eigirdas Zukauskas - PF / 2.04m / 1992
Statistics: 10.0 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 2.0 APG

Zukauskas was the unsung hero for Lithuania in the window. Osvaldas Olisevicius grabbed the headlines on the opening night in making the Top Performers lineup, while Mindaugas Kuzminskas earned praise from his teammates after making an instant impact upon arrival for the second game. But Zukauskas made important contributions in both games as Lithuania enjoyed a double-winning window to get off to the perfect start.

Bosnia and Herzegovina BIH

Dzanan Musa - SF / 2.02m / 1999
Statistics: 19.0 PPG, 2.5 APG, 59% FG

Musa almost missed out on the window, but recovered in time to play a leading role as Bosnia and Herzegovina joined Lithuania in making a 2-0 start. The 22-year-old was back for the national team and marked a return with a 21-point haul in a crucial win at home to Czech Republic with 10-of-11 makes from the foul line. Musa then finished with 17 points in 17 minutes as his side pulled clear for a 10-point road win in Bulgaria to send out a message of their intentions in the Qualifiers.

Czech Republic CZE

David Jelinek - SG / 1.97m / 1990
Statistics: 16.5 PPG, 2.5 RPG, 60% 3PT

A case of what might have been for Jelinek and Czech Republic, perhaps. The 31-year-old poured in 31 points in an opening loss to Bosnia and Herzegovina with 10-of-15 shooting including six three-pointers. However, any momentum that was produced from the performance was short-lived on home soil with Jelinek restricted to just seven minutes of action through injury and Czech Republic fell to an eight-point loss to Lithuania.

Bulgaria BUL

Pavlin Ivanov - SG / 1.95m / 1993
Statistics: 15.0 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 2.5 APG

Not much to shout about for Bulgaria in the window, but Ivanov was the leading scorer as they went from a 20-point defeat to just a 10-point loss. Pavlov did the same in regards to his scoring with the 28-year-old starting out with a 20-point outing against Lithuania before a 3-of-10 shooting display led to just 10 points against Czech Republic, whilst adding 4 rebounds and 4 assists. Bulgaria only had one other player to average double figures and they have their work cut out in the group.

Group G

Spain ESP

Yankuba Sima - C / 2.11m / 1996
Statistics: 12.5 PPG, 7.5 RPG, 64% FG

The Qualifiers can often provide the platform for players to make a breakthrough with the senior team and Sima took his opportunity as the most efficient performer for Spain as they made a 2-0 start. The 25-year-old was only on court for a combined 35 minutes across the two games, but made an impact with 15 points and 7 rebounds against North Macedonia before contributing 10 points and 8 boards against Georgia as Spain had contributions right the way down the roster.

Georgia GEO

Tornike Shengelia - PF / 2.07m / 1991
Statistics: 16.0 PTS, 13.0 REB, 3.0 AST

Shengelia gave everything for the Georgia cause. Just 24 hours after club duty, Shengelia was donning the national team jersey and the 30-year-old wore his heart on his metaphorical sleeve with 16 points and 13 rebounds in the win over Ukraine. Shengelia got the crowd pumped with numerous noice-inducing plays, but his experience was short-lived in the window and his absence was also a painful blow to Georgia as their upset hopes in Jaen were made even slimmer.

Ukraine UKR

Artem Pustovyi - C / 2.16m / 1992
Statistics: 11.5 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 90% FG

Ukraine needed to beat North Macedonia, and they duly obliged behind a big contribution from Pustovyi. The 29-year-old saved the better of his two performances for this home clash to finish with 18 points on 8-of-9 shooting to go with 5 rebounds and 3 blocks in the 17-point victory. Ukraine had a lot of strength in their frontcourt with Viacheslav Petrov also enjoying a solid window with a near double-double average.

North Macedonia MKD

Jacob Wiley - PF / 2.03m / 1994
Statistics: 11.0 PPG, 7.0 RPG, 58% FG

Wiley was not at his dominant best, but was still the go-to player for North Macedonia as they failed to pick up a win in the window with a points differential of minus 46 telling the story. Wiley hit double figures in points in both games with 12 points and 9 rebounds against Ukraine, but there was little in the way of the scoring firepower needed for North Macedonia on the whole with improvements needed for the team in February.

Group H

Russia RUS

Anton Astapkovich - SF / 2.02m / 1994
Statistics: 15.5 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 69% FG

Astapkovich was key for Russia in their victory over Italy as they gained the upperhand in the early battle for top spot in the group. The 27-year-old came up with several big shots on the way to a 21-point haul with five three-pointers included in the Saint Petersburg success. Astapkovich went 69-percent shooting overall for the window and still added 10 points in 15 minutes of action in the win over Iceland.

Italy ITA

Stefano Tonut - G / 1.94m / 1993
Statistics: 16.5 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 6.0 APG

The reigning MVP in Italy was doing it on the international stage with an inspired display against the Netherlands. Tonut's 20 points and 6 assists were not enough to haul Italy past Russia on the road and while he only managed 13 points against the Netherlands, the 28-year-old stepped up when it counted with some key baskets on the way to victory. Another 6 assists helped create for his teammates and Tonut was one of the standout performers of the window.

Iceland ISL

Martin Hermannsson - PG / 1.90m / 1994
Statistics: 27.0 PTS, 4.0 REB, 3.0 AST

Hermannsson was a key absentee for Iceland in their game against Russia having fired in 27 points to help inspire a crucial two-point triumph away to the Netherlands. The 27-year-old was a perfect 8-of-8 in free throw attempts as well as 8-of-12 from the field with 4 rebounds and 3 assists thrown in for good measure. Hermannsson did have 7 turnovers, but they did not prove costly in the grand scheme of things and Iceland would have loved to have him out there for their second game on the road.

Netherlands NED

Worthy de Jong - G / 1.94m / 1988
Statistics: 13.0 PPG, 6.5 RPG, 2.0 APG

Disaster for the Dutch as they suffered back-to-back defeats, despite the efforts of De Jong and Charlon Kloof, in particular. De Jong was across the statsheet in multiple categories in typical fashion with at least 12 points, 6 rebounds and 2 assists in both games as the Netherlands lost both by just two points. The 33-year-old is still a valuable player for the team and will look to play an even bigger role when it comes to two meetings with Russia next.