08 - 16
July 2023
35 Evangelos Zougris (GRE)
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Eight standouts from the Group Phase in Heraklion

HERAKLION (Greece) - The Group Phase of the FIBA U20 European Championship is just behind us. After three days of competition, a number of players have made their mark in the tournament, delivering memorable performances.

As teams prepare for the Round of 16, we take a look at eight players who have stood out during the Group Phase in Heraklion.

Thijs De Ridder - Belgium

Power Forward

Birth Date: January 31, 2003 (20 years old)
Height: 2.03m (6ft 8in)

Tournament Stats: 19.0 PPG, 12.0 RPG, 4.0 APG, 2.0 SPG, 1.3 BPG

Belgium finished in second place in Group A, thanks in large part to De Ridder's absolutely dominant performance in Heraklion, where he's averaging 19.0 points and 12.0 rebounds per game, both tournament-leading marks. The Antwerp Giants forward brings a tremendous level of versatility and two-way impact to Belgium, providing a strong presence in the paint, crashing the offensive glass and finishing at the rim while also adding value as a perimeter scorer and facilitator.

Ruben Dominguez - Spain

Shooting Guard

Birth Date: January 23, 2003 (20 years old)
Height: 1.97m (6ft 6in)

Tournament Stats: 15.7 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 2.3 APG

Spain has cruised through the Group Phase, going into the Round of 16 with a perfect record and looking like a solid candidate to successfully defend their U20 title. Dominguez has made an impact with his scoring ability, leading the team with 15.7 points per game, while also leading the tournament with 8 three-pointers made in three games. The 20-year-old wing has also impressed with his efficiency, shooting 52.8 percent from the field, 42.1 percent from beyond the arc and turning the ball over just once so far in the tournament.

Zvonimir Ivisic - Croatia

Power Forward

Birth Date: August 9, 2003 (19 years old)
Height: 2.19m (7ft 2in)

Tournament Stats: 13.0 PPG, 6.7 RPG, 4.7 BPG

Ivisic delivered one of the most memorable performances of the tournament so far, with a 17-point, 10-rebound, 8-block outing against Poland, which also serves as a summary of the 19-year-old center's impact for Croatia: he's dominating the paint with his rim protection, leading the tournament with an average of 4.7 blocks per game, while also shooting an extremely efficient 78.6 percent from inside the arc. Ivisic has also been able to mix in some moments from the perimeter, as he has converted five three-pointers during the Group Phase.

Ilias Kamardine - France

Shooting Guard

Birth Date: October 1, 2003 (19 years old)
Height: 1.95m (6ft 5in)

Tournament Stats: 14.7 PPG, 4.0 SPG, 2.7 APG

France has been the top defensive team in the tournament, holding opponents to just 56.3 points per game on 36.1 percent shooting. It all starts with Kamardine and his ability to disrupt plays in the perimeter, as evidenced by his tournament-leading average of 4 steals per game. The Dijon guard is also getting it done on the offensive end of the floor: he's leading his team in scoring, while shooting efficiently and adding value with his playmaking for others.

Liutauras Lelevicius - Lithuania


Birth Date: May 28, 2003 (20 years old)
Height: 2.01m (6ft 7in)

Tournament Stats: 18.0 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 2.7 APG

The strong play of Lelevicius has propelled Lithuania to a perfect record going into the Round of 16. Lelevicius has stood out in Heraklion with his three-point shooting and his ability to make plays for others, being the perfect fit between Motiejus Krivas' interior presence and Kajus Kublickas’ passing. Lelevicius also brings another scoring dimension with his ability to draw fouls: he has gotten to the line at a great rate, while converting on 91.3 percent of his free throws.

Nikola Saranovic - Serbia

Shooting Guard

Birth Date: August 20, 2003 (19 years old)
Height: 1.98m (6ft 6in)

Tournament Stats: 12.3 PPG, 7.0 RPG, 4.7 APG, 2.0 SPG

Saranovic's opening game performance against Estonia, where he went for 17 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists and 2 steals was not only impressive, but also a sign of things to come. The 19-year-old wing has led this Serbian squad not so much with his scoring, but with his versatility, providing a level of perimeter defense, rebounding and playmaking for others that was much-needed for his team.

Samet Yigitoglu - Turkey


Birth Date: March 10, 2004 (19 years old)
Height: 2.16m (7ft 1in)

Tournament Stats: 12.7 PPG, 10.0 RPG, 1.3 BPG, 1.0 SPG

Yigitoglu was already a standout for Turkey at the recent FIBA U19 Basketball World Cup 2023, but he looks even better at Heraklion, providing a much-needed interior presence for his team. The 19-year-old center is making an impact with his ability to finish plays at the rim and crash the offensive glass, while also contributing on defense, as he's averaging 1.3 blocks and 1.0 steal per game.

Evangelos Zougris - Greece


Birth Date: October 14, 2004 (18 years old)
Height: 2.02m (6ft 8in)

Tournament Stats: 14.0 PPG, 11.3 RPG, 2.3 SPG, 2.0 APG, 1.0 BPG

Lefteris Mantzoukas has scored the most points for the home team, but Evangelos Zougris has arguably made the bigger impact. The 18-year-old exploded right out of the gate with a 24-point, 17-rebound performance in Greece's opening game against Poland and has looked unstoppable ever since. Zougris also makes an impact on defense for Greece, as he's leading the team in rebounds, steals and blocks.