Who impressed as their nation's MVP for the final window of the Qualifiers?
MUNICH (Germany) - It was a frantic final window at the FIBA EuroBasket 2022 Qualifiers as big-time players came through in the big moments for their country.
We delved into each of the 32 teams to pick out their MVP from the concluding action having also shone a light on the brightest young stars on display.
Jake Cohen - C / 2.06m / 1990
Statistics: 17.0 PPG, 6.0 RPG, 2.0 APG
Cohen was a consistent performer for Israel throughout the Qualifiers and initially posted 14 points in the first game of the final window to help move to 5-0. The experienced center signed off from duty with 20 points and 9 rebounds in a first loss which came against Spain.
Dario Brizuela - SG / 1.85m / 1994
Statistics: 19.5 PPG, 2.0 APG
Brizuela had his most productive window for Spain as they finished with two wins over Poland and Israel. The 26-year-old guard had 21 points in the one-point triumph over Poland before adding 18 points to help his side to another victory.
Michal Michalak - SG / 1.97m / 1993
Statistics: 17.0 PPG, 67% 3PT
Michalak hit double figures in the narrow defeat against Spain before closing out the action in style with a best of 24 points on 7-of-9 shooting to help lead Poland to a seven-point success over Romania on home soil, in Gliwice.
Mihai Maciuca - SF / 1.96m / 2000
Statistics: 17.0 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 70% FG
The 20-year-old forward showed there was reason to be optimistic for the future for Romania, despite not picking up a win in their campaign. Maciuca netted an efficient 18 points against Israel before following up with a further 16 points in a loss to Poland.
Michele Vitali - G / 1.96m / 1991
Statistics: 17.5 PPG, 6.0 RPG, 3.5 APG
Not the window Italy would have hoped for, but top spot was already secure before their successive defeats. Vitali posted 24 points in the overtime defeat to Estonia having helped his side recover from a large deficit, though they came up short in the extra period.
Joel Bolomboy - C / 2.06m / 1994
Statistics: 19 PTS, 3 REB, 64% FG
Just the one game for Bolomboy in this window, but it was enough to leave his mark with the center scoring 19 points on 64-percent shooting in a 17-point win over North Macedonia as Russia enjoyed a strong finish to advance in style.
Maik-Kalev Kotsar - F / 2.08m / 1996
Statistics: 18.3 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 3.3 APG
Kotsar was huge for Estonia in their impressive overtime triumph against Italy with a 32-point haul to propel his side to a memorable scalp. The 24-year-old also had 15 points, 8 rebounds and 4 assists in the crucial final game as Estonia clinched their spot, despite defeat.
Jacob Wiley - F / 2.01m / 1994
Statistics: 16.0 PPG, 7.5 RPG, 2.3 BPG
Wiley made his debut for North Macedonia and had an immediate impact for the team as they faced a challenging final window. He blocked at least 2 shots in each of the four games, whilst posting 18 points and 14 rebounds in the final win over Estonia as his side came up short of the required margin needed to advance.
Retin Obasohan - SG / 1.88m / 1993
Statistics: 21.0 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 67% FG
Another big window for Obasohan as Belgium wrapped up top spot to put the icing on the cake of an impressive qualifying campaign. The ERA Nymburk guard netted 19 points in the win over Denmark before a 23-point haul to keep his side in contention as they eventually lost out to Czech Republic on Gameday 6.
Mantas Kalnietis - PG / 1.95m / 1986
Statistics: 5.5 PPG, 5.0 APG
Up until the final possession of the final game, Kalnietis had not registered a single block in the entire campaign before getting his hand to the ball on Adama Darboe's game-winning lay-up attempt to secure qualification for Lithuania in dramatic fashion. All that experience coming through in the decisive moment with Kalnietis also adding 11 points and 6 assists.
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Jaromir Bohacik - F / 1.97m / 1992
Statistics: 16.5 PPG, 67% 3PT
More like it from Czech Republic in their final game as the combination of Bohacik and Vojtech Hruban helped carry their side to a five-point win over the group winners, Belgium. Bohacik finished with 22 points with just a solitary miss from the floor in the win in a 34-minute effort.
Adama Darboe - G / 1.90m / 1986
Statistics: 19.0 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 4.5 APG
Denmark could not have given any more. 34-year-old guard Darboe took on the additional responsibility in the absence of superstar Gabriel Lundberg, and came so close to delivering his nation to FIBA EuroBasket 2022 but was unable to add to his 20 points on the crucial final play of the game.
Miro Bilan - C / 2.13m / 1989
Statistics: 11.5 PPG, 6.5 RPG, 2.0 APG
Bilan is again the choice for MVP for Croatia, but in different circumstances to the November window. Successive defeats halted their unbeaten charge albeit without impacting their overall position with Bilan putting up a third consecutive double-double against the Netherlands.
Yannick Franke - SG/ 1.85m / 1996
Statistics: 12.0 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 3.0 APG
Franke helped the Netherlands get the job done with an all-round showing of 15 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals in securing qualification with victory over previously unbeaten Croatia.
Alperen Sengun - PF / 2.06m / 2002
Statistics: 15.0 PPG, 8.5 RPG, 60% FG
The teen sensation cannot stay away from the headlines with a string of big performances on the big stages. Sengun had a huge outing in the crucial win over Sweden with 24 points and 12 rebounds for his first senior double-double, while the impact of Shane Larkin should not go without mention, also.
An 18-year-old carrying himself like a veteran. 🙌— FIBA EuroBasket (@EuroBasket) February 22, 2021
It's been a special time in the #EuroBasket Qualifiers for the @TBF 🇹🇷 sensation @alperennsengun!
Jonas Jerebko - PF / 2.06m / 1987
Statistics: 14.0 PPG, 7.5 RPG, 58% 3PT
A welcome return to the national side for Jerebko, though it was not enough to get Sweden over the line in their bid for qualification. The 33-year-old fired in six triples in a 21-point outing in the decisive loss to Turkey before contributing 7 points and 11 rebounds as they bowed out with a win.
Filip Petrusev - C / 2.10m / 2000
Statistics: 24.5 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 3.0 APG
As introductions go at senior level, this was mightily impressive from Petrusev. The 20-year-old center was assured on debut with 27 points against Georgia in a win that confirmed Serbia's spot at the Final Round, then added 22 points for good measure to stake his claim.
Giorgi Shermadini - C / 2.16m / 1989
Statistics: 19.5 PPG, 10.0 RPG, 61% FG
More big numbers from Shermadini having increased his output to average a double-double for Georgia in the final window. The veteran had 20 points against Serbia before a 19-point, 12-rebound double-double against Finland with both performances ending in defeat.
Elias Valtonen - SF / 2.00m / 1999
Statistics: 11.0 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 4.0 APG
Another young performer shining on the big stage as 21-year-old Valtonen played his role in two big wins for Finland. Valtonen had 8 points, 4 assists and 4 steals in the decisive victory over Switzerland before adding 14 points to 4 assists in a triumph against Georgia.
Jonathan Kazadi - SG / 1.94m / 1991
Statistics: 13.0 PPG, 9.0 APG, 4.0 SPG
Kazadi led Switzerland in points, rebounds and assists throughout the Qualifiers as his side missed out on the Final Round. The 29-year-old guard scored 13 points in each defeat of the final window, whilst handing out a total of 18 assists to his teammates.
Olexandr Mishula - PG / 1.88m / 1992
Statistics: 15.0 PPG, 3.0 RPG
Ukraine ended up as group winners with two wins in the final window with their contributors spread throughout their roster. Mishula had 7 points against Slovenia before an 18-point outing in a more convincing win over Hungary to finish in strong fashion.
Luka Rupnik - PG / 1.86m / 1993
Statistics: 15.5 PPG, 6.0 APG
The point controlled the Slovenian offense in typical fashion as they closed out their final three-game stretch with two wins. Rupnik dished out 5+ assists in each encounter and also had 18 points against Ukraine with Jaka Blazic also impressing once again for the national side.
David Vojvoda - G / 1.96m / 1990
Statistics: 12.8 PPG
Vojvoda was unrelenting in the pursuit of helping Hungary punch their ticket to FIBA EuroBasket 2022, with Szilard Benke's late three-pointer proving decisive. The Alba Fehervar guard knocked down four triples in a 22-point display in the win over Austria before enjoying a far more comfortable win against the same opposition.
Thomas Klepeisz - PG / 1.86m / 1991
Statistics: 21 PTS / 4 REB / 4 AST
Just the one game for Klepeisz, and it would end in heartbreak despite his effort of 21 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists with Austria falling to a two-point loss against Hungary to end their hopes of making it out of a tough group.
Thomas Heurtel - PG / 1.88m / 1989
Statistics: 10.5 PPG, 6.0 APG
A return to national team colors for Heurtel in helping France secure safe passage back to the Final Round, though not without scare. The 31-year-old guard helped lead a comeback win against Montenegro with 16 points and 4 assists, before their loss to Great Britain.
Luke Nelson - SG / 1.91m / 1995
Statistics: 15.5 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 4.5 APG
A perfect window for Nelson, and Great Britain as they clinched their spot at FIBA EuroBasket 2022. The guard, who plays in Germany, came up clutch with the game-winner to cap a 17-point night before adding 14 points in GB's dominant win over France.
Nikola Ivanovic - PG / 1.90m / 1994
Statistics: 18.0 PPG, 6.0 APG
Not to be for Montenegro, but not through a lack of trying. Ivanovic played his part and ensured they finished with victory on home soil in Podgorica after torching Germany for 26 points and 8 assists as they were left to rue defeat to Great Britain in the previous window.
Kenneth Ogbe - G / 1.97m / 1994
Statistics: 10.5 PPG, 6.0 RPG, 70% FG
Ogbe was a consistent performer for Germany in a final window that ended with two more defeats. The Brose Bamberg guard had double figures in points in each contest, nearing a double-double against Montenegro, while Maik Zirbes had a standout game in the loss to Great Britain at the buzzer.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Emir Sulejmanovic - PF / 2.04m / 1995
Statistics: 18.5 PPG, 11.0 RPG, 3.5 SPG
Sulejmanovic averaged a double-double over the final window with his best showing from the Qualifiers coming against Greece. The Tenerife forward posted 23 points along with 13 rebounds and 4 assists to help his side to the first of two more wins.
Christos Saloustros - G / 2.02m / 1990
Statistics: 13.5 PPG, 8.0 RPG
The Peristeri guard enjoyed his most productive window with the national team which culminated with a 16-point, 9-rebound performance in 35 minutes of Greece's win over Latvia. Saloutstros had hit double figures for the first time on Gameday 5 following limited action earlier in the Qualifiers.
Dee Bost - PG / 1.88m / 1989
Statistics: 18 PTS / 4 REB / 4 AST
Bulgaria's leading scorer came through when they needed him as Bost had a team-high 18 points in the crucial victory over Latvia to seal their spot at FIBA EuroBasket 2022. The mission was accomplished and Bost was able to rest for their final encounter of the group.
Rolands Freimanis - F / 2.08m / 1988
Statistics: 12.5 PPG, 4.0 RPG
Despair from Latvia as they finished with just one win to miss out on a Final Round return. Freimanis was rewarded for an efficient display against Bulgaria with extended playing time against Greece and the 33-year-old put up 16 points and 7 rebounds in a battling display.