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Day 1 preview: European powers Lithuania and Serbia hook horns to highlight opening day
PODGORICA (FIBA U16 European Championship 2017) - The FIBA U16 European Championship 2017 tips off in Podgorica with Day 1 action featuring a couple of high profile match-ups including Lithuania vs Serbia.
The 2008 champions Lithuania, who reached the Final the last two summers, will battle the five-time champs Serbia for Group A supremacy. The Lithuanians will be out to live up to the expectations from the last two U16 editions while Serbia have not gotten past the Quarter-Finals the last three years and last year tied for their worst ever finish in 10th place. Serbia, who own a 5-1 record over Lithuania at the U16 level, will be looking to return to the podium and this is the first step.
Another classic match-up comes in Group C with France vs Italy as the teams have split their 20 past games. France have dominated the Italians of late with five wins in the six encounters since 2010, including winning the 2012 Semi-Finals. And France have won 10 of the 13 games since 2001 - before which Italy never lost. France will be looking to lay the foundation for a third podium finish in the last six tournaments after a second place in 2012 and a title in 2014. Italy meanwhile finished fourth in 2012 and 2013 but haven't landed on the podium since their one championship in 1991.
Another big name showdown is Turkey vs Germany in Group B though Turkey have gotten the better of the matchup with a 9-4 series lead. Germany did take down the Turks last year in the Group Phase, snapping a eight-game losing streak that dated back to 1985.
The action from Podgorica is just a click away as you can follow Live Updates throughout each game day, watch all of the games for free on the FIBA YouTube channel and follow #FIBAU16Europe across social media.