Big time performances from Filip Petrusev and Joel Ayayi in the final day of competition at the FIBA U18 European Championships help them each win medals and secure spots on the All-Tournament Team.
Serbia beat Latvia in the gold medal game to successfully complete a defense of its U18 title, thanks in large part to Petrusev who contributed 29 points, 8 rebounds, and 3 assists. Petrusev got Serbia off to a nice start with a pair of dunks that set the tone for the rest of the day en route to another dominant tournament performance.
Petrusev’s eye-catching performances during this tournament did not go unnoticed, and he’ll only add to Gonzaga’s embarrassment of riches in what should be one of Mark Few’s deepest squads to date.
Watching @ZagMBB recruit, 6-11 Filip Petrusev get off to quick start vs. Latvia in Euro U-18 Gold. In any other year, he’d get major minutes but Zags loaded up front. Patience will be a virtue.— Fran Fraschilla (@franfraschilla) August 5, 2018
Gonzaga signee Filip Petrusev has showed progress here at the FIBA u18 Euro Championships. He's improved as a rebounder, has confidence in his jumper & has been efficient from field. Averaging 19.7 PPG & 8.8 RPG.— Evan Daniels (@EvanDaniels) August 4, 2018
In the third-place game between France and Russia, Joel Ayayi rebounded from Saturday’s loss with a big-time performance to help his team overcome a 12-point deficit at the half. Ayayi scored 20 of his 22 points in the second half, and consistently got into the paint where he used his floater to great effect. While he only had one assist, Ayayi did a great job taking care of the ball as he limited his turnovers to a single occurrence.
Great second half by France. Really increased the defensive pressure. Dynamic guard Joel Ayayi roasted the Russian defense with his floaters again and again, using the space created by running horns. Nice comeback win! #FIBAU18Europe— Tobias Berger (@tberger_gtg) August 5, 2018
Following their respective games, Petrusev and Ayayi were rewarded for their excellent tournament performances with a spot on the All-Tournament team.
FIBA U18 Division A All-Tournament Team: Marko Pecarski (Serbia - MVP), Arturs Zagars (Latvia), Filip Petrusev (Serbia), Joel Ayayi (France) & Nikita Mikhailovskii (Russia) #FIBAU18Europe— Eurohopes (@Eurohopes) August 5, 2018
With tournament success under their belts, expect both young Zags to arrive in Spokane with a lot of confidence as they challenge for minutes on a talented Bulldog squad.