U18 Mega Mozzart Belgrade took the first step to repeating its first-place finish at the Euroleague Basketball Adidas Next Generation Tournament Belgrade by opening Group B play with a 68-88 victory over the U18 Next Generation Team Belgrade. Mega, which reached the ANGT Championship Game in 2017 and 2019, took control of the game with a 0-12 third-quarter run. Asim Djulovic paced Mega with 23 points while Aleksa Milenkovic had 15 points and 9 rebounds, Bogoljub Markovic scored 15 points and Petar Avlijas chipped in 10 points. NGB, which was making its debut in this competition, was led by 16 points from Filip Jovic, and Samet Yigitoglu who collected 12 points and 13 rebounds.
U18 Next Generation Team Belgrade 68-88 U18 Mega Mozzart Belgrade
The game was even early on until Milenkovic scored eight points in a 3-13 run to put Mega ahead 9-19. NGB scored the last three points of the first quarter to make it 12-19 after 10 minutes. The selection team opened the second period with the first 4 points before Djulovic’s three-pointer after nearly 3 minutes. NGB four times pulled within two points only for Mega to have an answer each time, and Serbian side scored the final 10 points of the first half - including back-to-back three-pointers from Aleksandar Prokopic and Danilo Dozic - to lead 27-39 at the break.
NGB charged out of the locker room with a 13-0 run to take the lead 40-39. Mega did not score until Djulovic’s basket after more than 3 minutes. The lead changed hands four more times thanks to Yigitoglu for NGB and Djulovic and Melinkovic for Mega, which was leading 47-58 after a 0-12 spurt. And the margin was 55-67 after 30 minutes. The momentum continued in the fourth quarter and Mega allowed just two points in the first 4 minutes and opened a 57-74 cushion. NGB did not get closer than 13 points the rest of the game.