Last Night’s NBA Cup Takes Center Stage
Last night, the NBA Cup dominated the basketball scene, but it was also a significant day for Spanish talent seeking success in the Americas. Izan Almansa (Ignite) and Usman Garuba (Santa Cruz Warriors) made their G-League debuts, Aday Mara (UCLA Bruins) played his second college game, and Baba Miller started his campaign at Florida State. The best news is that all of them performed reasonably well.
Usman Garuba’s Disappointing Debut
Despite being the most experienced player among them, Garuba didn’t have a good start. He landed in San Francisco Bay with the Warriors, but it seems that he won’t be at the forefront in terms of contract and destiny. “He is quite clear about who he is, and it is an advantage to be successful in the league. He knows his identity and his role. He plays hard, has a good physique, and understands the game,” analyzed Steve Kerr, the coach of the Warriors. Unfortunately, Garuba’s debut in the G-League was disappointing, with only 4 points, 6 rebounds, 6 fouls committed, and 4 turnovers. The Warriors’ affiliate won 114-125 against the Kings.
“Garuba is clear about who he is, and that is an advantage in the league.” – Steve Kerr
Izan Almansa, on the other hand, had a much better performance. Although he raised some doubts when he joined Ignite, he proved himself in the season debut against the Ontario Clippers (109-102). He scored 7 points (3/7 in TC), grabbed 7 rebounds, made 2 blocks, and had 2 steals. Ron Holland also stood out with 21 points and 8 rebounds. Almansa is currently the number 1 favorite forward for the upcoming Draft.
Mara Shows Improvement, Miller Shines
Aday Mara, who plays in the university league (NCAA) for UCLA Bruins, showed improvement in his second game. In the victory against Lafayette (68-50), he scored 5 points, grabbed 2 rebounds, made one assist, and committed one foul in 11 minutes of play. He continues to grow and develop as a player.
Baba Miller had an outstanding performance last night. It was his first full campaign at the university, and he made an impact as a starter for Florida State. He contributed 9 points, 5 rebounds, 2 steals, and a block in their 94-67 victory against Kennesaw State.
Although they had different experiences, all three players, along with Usman Garuba, who must develop in the NBA, have embarked on their journey towards success. It’s worth noting that according to expert Jonathan Givony of ‘DraftExpress’ for ‘ESPN,’ Almansa is estimated to be selected ninth, Mara twelfth, and Miller nineteenth in the upcoming Draft. Additionally, Juan Nez, who shines in the German Ulm and is linked to Armani Milan, and Mirotic are also expected to be selected in the first round, with Nez in twenty-fourth place.