Avdija shines bright as Israel complete perfect first window
TEL AVIV (Israel) - Deni Avdija produced another glimpse of the future as the 19-year-old helped lead Israel to a convincing 87-63 victory over Romania on Monday night in Tel Aviv.
With two wins from two to get their FIBA EuroBasket 2021 Qualifiers campaign off to a perfect start, Israel take early control of Group A.
Turning Point: Israel never trailed in the contest, jumping out to a 12-2 start but Romania refused to roll over and kept themselves in contention at the half-time break. The gap was just three points at 47-44 early in the third before Avdija sparked a 9-2 burst that broke the resistance and the hosts soon raced clear to victory.
Game Hero: Deni Avdija did not disappoint the expectant home faithful at the Shlomo Group Arena with a game-high 21 points along with 8 rebounds, 2 assists and a block in just 24 minutes of action.
Stats Don't Lie: Romania were pressured in possession and committed 17 turnovers compared to just 13 assists, while Israel kept their turnovers in single figures and shared the ball well to create 24 assists.
Bottom Line: Israel take a 2-0 record into the next window in November with a mouth-watering clash with Spain on home soil - by which point Avdija could have made his NBA debut. Romania have their work cut out following successive defeats and they return home to take on Poland in what may already be considered a must-win encounter.