Orange Lions U20 want to grow further

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Photo: FIBA

Sofia, the capital city of Bulgaria, will be the location for the FIBA U20 European Championship 2018. The Netherlands, the Orange Lions, will play in the B-division for the eighth time in a row. The Lions are classified in group C, together with: Luxembourg, Hungary, Czech republic, Armenia and Russia.

Of these opponents, only Russia was ranked higher in the B-division than the Netherlands (3rd place). Czech Republic played in the A-division last year, who were ranked 15th. In this year’s group phase, Russia and the Lions will meet once again.

Progression

In 2016, the Lions had a very difficult year. They only won the first game (against Kosovo) and the last game (against Slovakia), with a 15th spot as result. Everyone would understand that the Lions didn’t want to play like this over and over again. Last year it was a bit better. The Lions played seven games, five of them was a win for them. They only lost against Russia and Finland. The tenth spot was the maximum they could accomplish last year. That’s a little bit of a progression, but will they make any progression this year?

Same coach/new players

For the fifth time, Ferry Steenmetz will be the head coach of the Lions. For this year, he will have to do it with a new group of players. Only Marijn ververs, Kevin Schutte and Elay Wirjo were players from last year’s event. Also important, how will they replace Terrence Bieshaar? The 6.8 feet center was one of the topscorders from the last two events.

Of course, the Lions do have some very talented players according to the pre-selection. For example: Boyd van der Vuurst de Vries became this year’s Rookie of the Year for the Den Helder Suns in the DBL. Another example: Iyen Enaruna, Lucas Faijdherbe and Malevy Leons became champions in the Dutch Talent League. Those new players and the players who played in the U20 before knows what to do to win games and win (individual) prizes.

Preparation

After a month of practice in Sportcentrum Caland in Amsterdam, the Lions played their first pre-game against Belgium U20: 51-59. In Venice they lost against Italy, Turkey and Slovenia. The last game against Slovenia was a close one, ending in 49-43. Of the last three games, the Lions won two of them. They were too strong against Portugal (65-54) and Sweden (67-58). As you can see, they played a little better just before leaving to Sofia. Will they keep making progression? We will see at Friday the 13th of July 2018.

Roster

Upcoming schedule:
  • 13 July: Netherlands – Russia at 5:15 PM
  • 14 July: Luxemburg – Netherlands at 5:15 PM
  • 15 July: Hungary – Netherlands at 7:30 PM
  • 17 July: Netherlands – Armenia at 7:30 PM
  • 18 July: Czech Republic – Netherlands at 7:30 PM

Photo: FIBA

Sofia, the capital city of Bulgaria, will be the location for the FIBA U20 European Championship 2018. The Netherlands, the Orange Lions, will play in the B-division for the eighth time in a row. The Lions are classified in group C, together with: Luxembourg, Hungary, Czech republic, Armenia and Russia.

Of these opponents, only Russia was ranked higher in the B-division than the Netherlands (3rd place). Czech Republic played in the A-division last year, who were ranked 15th. In this year’s group phase, Russia and the Lions will meet once again.

Progression

In 2016, the Lions had a very difficult year. They only won the first game (against Kosovo) and the last game (against Slovakia), with a 15th spot as result. Everyone would understand that the Lions didn’t want to play like this over and over again. Last year it was a bit better. The Lions played seven games, five of them was a win for them. They only lost against Russia and Finland. The tenth spot was the maximum they could accomplish last year. That’s a little bit of a progression, but will they make any progression this year?

Same coach/new players

For the fifth time, Ferry Steenmetz will be the head coach of the Lions. For this year, he will have to do it with a new group of players. Only Marijn ververs, Kevin Schutte and Elay Wirjo were players from last year’s event. Also important, how will they replace Terrence Bieshaar? The 6.8 feet center was one of the topscorders from the last two events.

Of course, the Lions do have some very talented players according to the pre-selection. For example: Boyd van der Vuurst de Vries became this year’s Rookie of the Year for the Den Helder Suns in the DBL. Another example: Iyen Enaruna, Lucas Faijdherbe and Malevy Leons became champions in the Dutch Talent League. Those new players and the players who played in the U20 before knows what to do to win games and win (individual) prizes.

Preparation

After a month of practice in Sportcentrum Caland in Amsterdam, the Lions played their first pre-game against Belgium U20: 51-59. In Venice they lost against Italy, Turkey and Slovenia. The last game against Slovenia was a close one, ending in 49-43. Of the last three games, the Lions won two of them. They were too strong against Portugal (65-54) and Sweden (67-58). As you can see, they played a little better just before leaving to Sofia. Will they keep making progression? We will see at Friday the 13th of July 2018.

Roster

Upcoming schedule:
  • 13 July: Netherlands – Russia at 5:15 PM
  • 14 July: Luxemburg – Netherlands at 5:15 PM
  • 15 July: Hungary – Netherlands at 7:30 PM
  • 17 July: Netherlands – Armenia at 7:30 PM
  • 18 July: Czech Republic – Netherlands at 7:30 PM

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