U18 ratiopharm Ulm opened the Euroleague Basketball Adidas Next Generation Tournament Varese with a hard-fought 62-56 victory over U18 Casademont Zaragoza. Ulm fended off every Zaragoza comeback attempt to take the opening game in Group B. Tobias Jensen led the way with 24 points while Dominykas Pleta scored 11 points and Jacob Ensminger chipped in 7 points, 13 rebounds, 7 assists and 2 steals. Manuel Zapater was the only Zaragoza player in double figures with 12 points with Aday Mara collecting 8 points, 5 rebounds and 7 blocks and Gonzalo Rodriguez adding 4 points, 6 rebounds and 8 assists.
Ulm opens ANGT Varese with win over Zaragoza, 62-56
Pleta scored the first four points of the tournament for Ulm and it took more than 4 minutes for Zaragoza to finally score through Mara. Lucas Langarita drained the first triple of the game for Zaragoza before Ulm got a three-pointer from Lenny Liedtke for a 16-10 lead, which was 16-12 after 10 minutes. After Mara evened the game 16-16 early in the second quarter, Liedtke hit a second three-pointer. Zaragoza had major problems scoring, failing to produce a point for nearly 5 minutes while Jensen had four points and Ulm led 26-20. Javier Fernandez hit a three-pointer at the buzzer and it was 26-24 at the break.
Rodriguez tied the game to start the second half only to see Jensen bury two triples and Ensminger also hit from deep for a 37-26 cushion. Zaragoza countered with a Zapater three-point play and three-pointers from Rodriguez and Alejandro Moreno to get within 44-41. Ulm however was up 50-43 after 30 minutes. Ulm went scoreless for more than 2 minutes to start the fourth quarter but Zaragoza only got a three-pointer from Pavle Stosic to pull within 50-46. Pleta finally got the German side on the board with two scores and the margin was 54-46. Stosic knocked down another triple to trim the gap to 54-51 but Jensen and Simeon Dimitrov scored to reestablish a seven-point lead. Dimitrov added a layup with 31 seconds to end any doubts at 62-54.