U18 Real Madrid will be heading to Belgrade in hopes of winning the 2022 Euroleague Basketball Adidas Next Generation Tournament Finals and hoisting the trophy for an unprecedented fourth time. But the reigning champions will face a massive challenge from two France-based teams – U18 PFYM INSEP Paris and U18 LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne, winners in 2010 and 2017, respectively – as well as a U18 Next Generation Select Team headlined with even more French talent.
ANGT Finals: Real aims to withstand French power for fourth title
The eight-team field also includes a motivated host team – and 2014 continental champion – U18 Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade, 2017 and 2019 runner-up U18 Mega Mozzart Belgrade, 2018 finalist U18 Stellazzurra Rome and U18 Maccabi Tel Aviv.
Real has won the last two titles, in 2019 and 2021, to go along with the crown from 2015 – but the Spanish powerhouse will face a major challenge in Belgrade.
ASVEL grabbed its ticket to the ANGT Finals by claiming the top spot at this season's ANGT Belgrade qualifying event. PFYM wants to make up for falling slightly short last season, and to make sure won this season's ANGT Varese qualifier. Both teams are loaded with outstanding talent at both ends of the court.
The third qualifier, ANGT Patras winner Stellazzurra, is in the ANGT Finals for a third time in four editions and would love to finally become the first Italian club to claim the U18 continental title.
NGS meanwhile has a very French feeling, too. Euroleague Basketball Legend and head coach Vassilis Spanoulis has invited a quartet of French players – Pacome Dadiet, Mohamed Diawara, Zacharie Perrin and Illan Petrus. Perrin was named as MVP of ANGT Varese while playing for Spanoulis's select squad there.
The select team received a wild card for the ANGT Finals, as did the 2015 and 2016 finalist Zvezda, which will be playing for the trophy for a 12th time and 11th in a row; Mega, making its sixth straight appearance; and Maccabi, in the final for the eighth time.
The eight teams will be broken down into two groups with each team playing the others in their group. Group A includes Maccabi, Mega, PFYM and Real while ASVEL, NGS, Stellazzurra and Zvzezda make up Group B.
The two group winners will face off on Saturday in the ANGT Championship Game at 12:30 CET in the Ranko Zeravica Arena. Entrance to all ANGT Finals games is free of charge.