16 - 25
August 2018
5 Evelina Maria Petrof (ROU)
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Belarus and Romania among opening-day winners in Podgorica

PODGORICA (FIBA U16 Women's European Championship 2018, Division B) – Belarus and Romania were among the opening-day winners at the FIBA U16 Women's European Championship 2018, Division B in the Montenegrin capital Podgorica after losing their Division A status in last year's tournament in Bourges.

Fighting for one of just three promotion spots in a packed field of 23 teams, the Nadzeya Kamenets-coached Belarusian side reaffirmed their standing as one of the favorites in Group D with a dominant 83-54 victory against Bosnia and Herzegovina in their first game.

Anastasiya Babak converted 10-of-11 of her two-point field goal attempts en route to a game-high 25 points and 9 rebounds for the winners, while Iryna Venskaya was equally impressive with 23 points and 6 steals. For Bosnia and Herzegovina, Uma Bobic had a 24-point and 13-rebound effort, but also committed 11 turnovers.

Romania are one of two teams in Podgorica who were relegated from Division A last year

In the other Group D fixtures, Finland put on a show with nine different players in double figures in a 139-43 win over Albania, while Ukraine topped Norway 60-53 with Vladyslava Kiba going off for 23 points and 9 rebounds and Anatasiia Kovtun adding 8 points and 18 boards.

Romania's opening-day performance in Group C wasn't as convincing as the ones put together by Belarus or Finland, but it was enough to register a 58-49 win in a low-scoring contest against Switzerland.

Eva Petrof and Alexandra Mangra were the only double-digit scorers for Romania with 10 points apiece, while Emma Chardon posted a 25-point, 14-rebound double-double in a Swiss jersey, also adding 4 steals.

Ireland celebrating an overtime win over Luxembourg with their supporters

Meanwhile, Ireland survived overtime drama against Luxembourg, allowing them to celebrate a 73-68 victory to start their campaign on a high note as the duo of Hazel Finn and Fatimah Akorede combined for 40 points. In the only other game in Group C, Israel eased past Kosovo with a 94-34 win.

Elsewhere, the tournament hosts Montenegro will have to wait another day for their first win in Podgorica after falling to Greece, 64-34. However, it was all smiles for their Group A rivals Sweden and Great Britain, with the Swedes steamrolling Iceland 86-42 in the Nordic derby and Team GB coming away with a 53-44 win over the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

There were only two games played in the five-team Group B, as the Natalia Santos-led Portugal locked down Estonia in a low-scoring 65-54 contest and Slovenia got the ball rolling by beating Bulgaria 73-43. Meanwhile, Slovakia will get in on the action in the tournament a day later on Friday.