12 - 20
August 2022
Celebration of Croatia after the game
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Croatia erase 21-point deficit against Serbia, hosts deny Montenegro on opening day


SKOPJE (North Macedonia) - Day 1 came to a close at the FIBA U16 European Championship with hosts North Macedonia and Croatia securing the most memorable wins of the premiere to start off their tournament on the right foot.

Group A

Israel and Lithuania grabbed wins over Netherlands and France, 81-55 and 73-41, respectively, in Group A.

Omer Mayer (18 points) and Ben Saraf (17 points) led the way for Israel in their win. Israel put pressure on Netherlands, forcing 25 turnovers and swiping away 20 steals.

Lithuania were balanced in their big win, as four players - Paulius Narvilas (13 points, 8 rebounds), Kristupas Smirnov (13 points, 10 rebounds), Mantas Laurencikas (12 points) and Nojus Indrusaitis (12 points, 6 rebounds) - all scored in double figures.

The difference in the game proved to be three-point shooting, as Lithuania knocked down 11 three-pointers, while France didn't convert a single three, shooting 0-of-19 from beyond the arc.

Group B

Slovenia and Croatia took down Denmark and Serbia, 60-42 and 86-77, respectively.

Maj Dolinsek and Urban Kroflic combined to score 33 points and made 13 of the team's 22 shots for Slovenia. After leading by five points at halftime, a 20-8 third quarter from Slovenia opened up the game in their favor.

Serbia outscored Croatia 27-9 in the second quarter to take a commanding 52-35 lead until Croatia had a 22-10 third quarter of their own to get back into the game. An 18-5 run by Croatia in the final five minutes then sealed the game.

Croatia's Dominik Dolic (16 points, 4 rebounds, 12 assists) and Ivan Volf (12 points, 10 rebounds) both finished with a double-double, while Ognjen Radosic led Serbia in defeat with 29 points and 5 steals.

Group C

Poland and Italy started 1-0 in Group C thanks to wins over Latvia and Turkey by scores of 87-54 and 77-51, respectively.

Tymoteusz Sternicki recorded a double-double and stuffed the stat sheet for Poland with 14 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists, 4 steals and 4 blocks. Poland led by 27 points at halftime and never looked back in their blowout win.

Italy led Turkey by only four points at halftime before outscoring them 39-16 in the final two quarters to pull away. Elhadji Dame Sarr did a little bit of everything for Italy with 17 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 4 steals and 2 blocks on 5-of-10 shooting from the field and 3-of-4 from three-point.

Group D

Hosts North Macedonia and Greece clinched wins in their group, defeating Montenegro and Spain, 69-62 and 75-47, respectively.

After North Macedonia held a comfortable 12-point lead at halftime, Montenegro cut into that lead and only trailed by three points heading to the final quarter. The fourth quarter was back-and-forth and had five lead changes until an 8-0 run by North Macedonia in the final two minutes put the game away.

Dimitar Zetov led the hosts with 20 points, while Stefan Stojkovikj chipped in 11 points, 7 rebounds and 5 blocks. Montenegro's David Mirkovic had the performance of the tournament so far with 30 points, 19 rebounds, 2 assists and 4 steals on 12-of-25 shooting from the field.

Greece dominated Spain from start to finish, leading the whole game for all but 17 seconds. Five players scored at least 8 points for Greece and three of those players came off the bench. Greece got solid contributions from their bench and outscored Spain 40-17 in bench points.

Greece shot the ball well at about 46 percent while Spain only connected on 26.7 percent of their shots.