During the first weekend of March, not only was the ANGT qualifier held in Belgrade, but also the Greek Rising Stars U18 Final-8, featuring the following teams: Olympiacos, 10Academy, Panathinaikos, Peristeri, Panerythraikos, Aris, Promitheas, and Milonas. Olympiacos was crowned champions after defeating 10A in the Final (72-67). Peristeri secured third place by defeating Milonas (66-46) in the 3rd place game. The final placements were as follows: 4) Milonas, 5) Panathinaikos, 6) Panerythraikos, 7) Aris, 8) Promitheas Patras.



First Rising Stars U18 title for the Reds in their second final (2022). Stefanos Spartalis was the MVP of the tournament. Standing at 6’9, Spartalis is a strong, dynamic, and athletic undersized center who showed good touch close to the rim and was able to post up and finish with both hands near the basket. Anastasios Rozakeas (6’9, F/G) and Benjamin Abosi (6’7/F) both played crucial roles. Rozakeas has been a standout throughout the season for the Reds. A tall, lengthy F/G who shoots well, moves effectively off-ball, navigates through screens skillfully, and is also effective as a secondary creator for his team, running many PnR’s (mostly side PnR’s). Rozakeas and Spartalis both made the All-Tournament team. 

Abosi missed many of Olympiacos U18 team games but came back stronger in the Final-8 and stood out. With great athleticism, he mostly played in face-up situations, driving effectively to the basket and showcasing his defensive upside. However, his shooting splits weren’t as impressive. It’s worth noting a slight shift in his playstyle, playing more on the perimeter and with the ball in his hands. Defensively, both his on-ball and off-ball defense were excellent, giving Liotopoulos a tough time in the final. His size, mobility, physical tools, and active hands made it difficult for opponents to get past him. In his best performance (against Milonas), he scored 18 points, grabbed 18 rebounds, dished out 4 assists, made 2 steals, and blocked 1 shot.

Behind those three guys was Curro Segura, who had a great season, but in the Final-8, he took a step back, contributing to multiple facets of the game with an all-around performance.


The finalists of the tournament had a great run. Lefteris Liotopoulos was named a member of the All-Five-Tournament Team. The St. Johns commit averaged 22 points throughout the Final-8. Liotopoulos shined offensively for his team, scoring both on- and off-ball situations. He never hesitated in his decisions, whether pulling up or driving to the basket when he recognized an opening. Additionally, he contributed as a creator with 4.3 assists per game (2.6 TO). Defensively, he applied on-ball pressure effectively, disrupting passing lanes. Alongside him, Andreas Patrikis (6’7, F) contributed on both ends of the floor. He was able to score close to the rim, execute dives after the PnR, and drive past other bigs. Patrikis, a tough and strong player, fought for post position, battled for rebounds, and secured many for his team, averaging 8.3 rebounds per game in the Final-8. Giorgos Makaratzis (5’12, PG, 2007) emerged as a facilitator, organizing plays and effectively pressuring the ball on defense. He primarily played alongside Liotopoulos, shouldering the responsibility of setting up teammates and orchestrating the pace in set offenses. Makaratzis displayed quick decision-making and reactive skills as the point guard for 10Academy. Pasxalis Pasxalidis (6’8, F) contributed more on the defensive end with his rebounding ability and mobility. He also showcased some offensive upside with good finishes near the basket. Andreas Vogiatzis (6’5, F) found himself battling taller and stronger opponents but performed admirably. Despite facing challenges, Vogiatzis displayed mobility, fluidity, and good shooting touch. He managed to secure rebounds with good positioning despite the height disadvantage.


Peristeri edged past Milonas in the 3rd place game, narrowly beating them 66-64. Giannis Maragkoudakis led his team throughout the season and was named a member of the All-Five-Tournament Team of the Final-8. Standing at 6’0, Maragkoudakis is the undisputed leader of Peristeri and a point guard who can both score and create for his teammates in all situations. He attacks the basket with confidence, even against taller players, and is never reluctant on his drives, favoring the floater. He orchestrates the pace effectively and runs the transition rapidly, aiming to push the tempo. Alexandros Alexakis (6’4, SG) started the Final-8 with a strong double-double of 20 points and 14 rebounds but saw limited playing time in the second game due to illness and missed the last one. Constantly trusting his shot, he played with the ball in his hands more, creating his own shot and actively cutting or posting up guards. He is strong in finishing in traffic and absorbing contact. Defensively, he had good moments, pressuring the ball and forcing some steals. With the absence of the starting center (who got injured early in the Final-8), Foivos Karathanasis (6’8, C) seized the opportunity and positively impacted his team. An undersized, strong, and powerful center, he fights for rebounds and uses his power to finish close to the rim.


Milonas performed well in the Final-8 and finished fourth in the final standings in their first-ever appearance in the tournament. Panagiotis Pagonis (6’8, PF) was awarded a spot on the All-Five Tournament Team. Pagonis is having an excellent season leading Milonas and also had a good performance at the ANGT. He is agile, versatile, and possesses exceptional leaping ability. Pagonis effectively runs the floor with and without the ball. Offensively, he excels in face-up situations, showing no hesitation in his three-point shot, driving past opponent bigs thanks to his acceleration, or capitalizing on second chances after securing offensive rebounds. He stands out as a tenacious rebounder, averaging 10.3 rebounds per game, always finding himself in good position and battling hard on both ends of the floor. Due to his mobility, he can defend perimeter players effectively.

Two players from Milonas raised their stock during the Final-8. The first one was Theodoros Pavlopoulos (6’6, G, 2007), a lengthy guard who set the pace for Milonas and contributed both scoring and rebounding. He utilized his length, stride, and speed to run the floor and drive to the basket, displaying quick understanding of offensive situations and reactions. Alexandros Kalampogias is the second player who raised his stock, another tall and sizable guard standing at 6’5, who excelled with his shooting ability and fluid off-ball movement, navigating off screens and executing instant catch-and-shoot situations. He had his best game against Olympiacos with 4/6 from three-point range.


Panathinaikos entered the tournament with two crucial absences, Lykourgos Vasilantonakis (6’8, PF) and Dimitris Kotsalos (6’5, PF), leaving the backcourt of Panathinaikos weaker. Christoforos Gkolantas (6’4, G) excelled with his defensive toughness and offensive efficiency. He drove to the basket, facilitated, and pushed the ball in fast breaks. A good perimeter defender, he applied pressure on the ball and disrupted the ball handler while defending passing lanes effectively.

Christos Georgas (6’6, F) contributed to Panathinaikos on both ends of the court and in every facet of the game. Lengthy, mobile, and versatile with a good level of athleticism, he thrived with his all-around play. Georgas secured rebounds, stole balls, and defended both on the perimeter and closer to the rim, mostly as a help defender with a good sense of timing for blocks. Offensively, he had strong finishes driving to the basket and showed some potential in his three-point shooting.

Dimitris Zervos (6’1, G) and Andreas Koustenis (6’3, G) both contributed mostly in scoring. Zervos found points in transition and semi-transition situations, while Koustenis was more effective in set offenses. Zervos also served as a facilitator, organizing Panathinaikos’ offense and setting up plays, providing open looks for teammates.

One player who raised his stock was Vaggelis Adamopoulos (6’10, C), who filled the gap left by Vasilantonakis and Kotsalos. A post-up player with good moves and soft touches, mostly using his dominant hand (right), he had the ability to finish close to the rim in both pick-and-roll situations and second-chance shots after grabbing offensive rebounds. He also showed glimpses of his long-distance shooting ability and demonstrated relatively good positioning for rebounds.


Panerythraikos finished 6th after falling short to Panathinaikos 83-59. The team from Erythraia had a good season led by player Panagiotis Papazotos (6’4, G/F), who led the team in scoring with 18 points per game over three games. He scored both inside and behind the arc with decent shooting splits. Papazotos can dynamically drive to the basket and create his own space. He prefers to have the ball in his hands and make decisions in pick-and-roll situations. Although he showed glimpses of his passing skills, he thrived more as an executor, particularly with off-dribble pull-ups and side steps.

Apostolos Nikolaidis (6’3, G/F) emerged as one of Panerythraikos’ best players once again. The younger brother of Alexandros Nikolaidis is a versatile and two-way guard. Nikolaidis primarily attacks by driving to the basket, demonstrating strong finishing skills and leveraging his acceleration and change of direction. He excels in orchestrating fast breaks, running the floor efficiently, and creating open looks for teammates. Defensively, he stands out as an on-ball defender, applying pressure on the ball with a good sense for steals thanks to his active hands.

Eleftherios Chavoutsas (6’7, F, 2006) showed improvement over the three games. Shifting from the center position in FIBA U16 2022 to forward, he displayed glimpses of his outside shooting (5/13 over three games). He can also dribble to attack the rim and has improved his touches and finishes close to the basket. Chavoutsas is aggressive on the boards, fighting for rebounds.

Dimitris Kakarouchas (6’3, G) had a relatively quiet weekend, showing glimpses of his offensive upside and scoring instincts. In the regular season, he averaged 17.4 points per game with a 33% shooting percentage from behind the arc (over 6 attempts per game), but in the Final-8, his numbers dropped to 10.3 points per game with lower shooting efficiency.


Aris finished 7th in the final standings of the Rising Stars U18. Filippos Tsachtsiras (6’8, PF) had a prominent Final-8 Tournament despite occasionally playing at the center position due to absences. Tsachtsiras is a stretch power forward, shooting 44.4% from beyond the arc in the regular season on over 4 attempts per game, and he never hesitates to take his shot. He also possesses some good moves close to the rim and has improved in post defending, showing more determination in fighting for his position.

Epameinondas Epameinondas (6’4, SG) was a key part of Aris’ frontcourt, a sizable and strong guard with two-way play upside. He is fluid and energetic, capable of defending on the perimeter, navigating through screens with defensive focus and understanding of situations. Offensively, he demonstrated his shooting ability mostly off-ball, navigating through screens and executing catch-and-shoot plays.

The lengthy point guard Vasilis Kazamias (6’6, PG) had some good moments but remained relatively quiet compared to the regular season. He is an all-around player with a good understanding of the game, excellent court vision, and reaction to different pick-and-roll defenses, finding the open man. Kazamias uses his stride effectively when driving to the basket, showcasing some solid finishes.

Vasilis Pourlidas (6’5, G) displayed offensive versatility, scoring efficiently and finding open looks for his teammates. He is active both on- and off-ball, cutting to the basket and shooting when free.

Aris also has some promising younger players from the 2008 generation, with Chrisostomos Chatzilamprou (6’6, SG) being the most promising, although he missed the Final-8 due to injury. Other intriguing prospects include Pavlos Petalotis (6’4, F) and Christos Venetidis (6’4, PG).

Promitheas Patras

Promitheas didn’t have the season they had hoped for, and in the Final-8, they even missed one of their most promising players, Grigoris Prekas (6’7, F). Vasilis Vlassis (6’3, PG) emerged as a key contributor for Promitheas, excelling in all facets of the offense. He served as Promitheas’ primary facilitator, with the ability to score and find open looks for his teammates. Vlassis averaged 9.3 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 4.3 assists per game. He possesses good positional size for a point guard, is dynamic, and capable of pushing the tempo to initiate a fast break.

Nikos Soilemetzidis (6’3, SG) only played in two out of the three games for his team. In those two games, he wasn’t able to perform at his usual level and skill. Soilemetzidis is a decent three-point shooter (31% over 6 attempts per game), capable of executing mostly on-ball and then making the decision.

Another absence for Promitheas was the 2008-generation center, Alexandros Skliros (6’8).