Follow FIBA on Facebook
Drama defines Day 1 in Group D; Gasol still has it at 200
(FIBA EuroBasket 2017) - Aleksei Shved silenced the Turkish faithful, Bogdan Bogdanovic spoiled Kristaps Porzingis' debut, Pau Gasol made history and Belgium became the first team in triple digits...and it's only the second day of action.
A massive crowd in Istanbul raised the temperature through the roof, but Aleksei Shved had ice in his veins when it mattered most in a 76-73 win over Turkey. A dagger three-pointer with 25.9 seconds on the clock put the game out of Turkish reach.
"We were just a little better, scored a couple of shots in the last minute of the game and went on to win," Shved said, after his 22-point performance for the winners. Timofey Mozgov followed his lead with 20 points and 9 rebounds, Cedi Osman's 28 points were not enough for the Group D hosts.
Also in Group D, Kristaps Porzingis made his long-awaited FIBA EuroBasket debut, and looked impressive with 18 points and 4 blocks. But Bogdan Bogdanovic made those numbers look insignificant, putting up a day-high 30 points as Serbia defeated Latvia 92-82.
"I am extremely proud of my players. Maybe this is the best feeling I have had since I took over the team," a delighted Aleksandar Djordjevic told media following the win. Also in double digits were Milan Macvan with 14 and Boban Marjanovic with 13. Dairis Bertans had 23 in a losing effort.
The only remaining Group D fixture saw Belgium reach the century mark. Maxime De Zeeuw led a balanced attack with 21 points in a 103-90 win over Great Britain.
Meanwhile in Romania, Pau Gasol was busy making history. In what was his 200th game for Spain, he celebrated his 168th win, a 99-60 dismantling of Montenegro. Gasol also moved into second position on the FIBA EuroBasket all-time scorer's list.
In other Group C action 'General' Satoransky came up with 20 points and 13 rebounds as Czech Republic started their campaign with a comfortable 83-68 run past hosts Romania, with vocal support for both teams in the stands.
There was palpable relief for Croatia in the day's other game, Bojan Bogdanovic creating a little magic to assure safe passage for Croatia, 67-58, past a spirited effort from Hungary, who played their second half without defensive maestro Adam Hanga.