30 July, 2022
07 August
21 Samet Yigitoglu (TUR)
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France, Spain, Turkey pick up statement wins on Day 1

IZMIR (Turkey) - The first day of action of the FIBA U18 European Championship consisted of several blowouts, headlined by France, Spain and Turkey all picking up wins by at least 45 points or more.

France opened up the tournament in style with a 97-45 win over Great Britain in Group A. It was a complete team effort by France who had all 12 players score. The top scorer was Daryl Doualla who had 13 points and one poster dunk.

France only led 19-15 after one quarter, but that was as close as Great Britain would get. France then dominated the second and third quarters, outscoring them by a huge margin of 60-16.

France also got more points from the bench (51) than Great Britain scored as a team.

The other Group A game was a lot closer, with Israel defeating North Macedonia 79-70.

Key factors in the game proved to be three-point shooting and turnovers. Israel outscored North Macedonia by 15 from behind the arc and forced 17 turnovers, while only committing 6 turnovers themselves.

Four players scored in double figures for Israel, led by Noam Yaacov who put up a solid all-around game with 24 points, 5 rebounds, 7 assists and 4 steals on 8-of-12 shooting from the field.

North Macedonia got a strong game from Teodor Simikj who finished with 25 points and 12 rebounds.

Both games in Group B finished with wide margins, as Turkey and Spain won their games 94-43 and 89-44 over Poland and Germany, respectively.

Turkey had five players score in double figures, led by 2.16m (7ft 1in) center Samet Yigitoglu who finished with 15 points, 8 rebounds and 2 blocks.

Poland struggled to put the ball in the basket, only connecting on 14-of-53 shots from the field.

Spain's Izan Almansa put up a double-double with 17 points, 13 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 blocks on 8-of-12 shooting from the field.

Spain's bench unit recorded 43 points, almost as many as Germany scored as a team. Germany struggled with their shot at only 25.4 percent from the field while Spain shot an efficient 45.2 percent.

In Group C, Serbia handled Slovenia in pretty comfortable fashion, 70-52, behind Filip Radakovic's 21-point, 10-rebound double-double.

The two teams were only separated by six points at halftime before Serbia opened up the game with a 23-6 third quarter. Three-point shooting was a difference, as Serbia made 9 three-pointers, while Slovenia struggled mightily and only shot 3-of-33 from beyond the arc.

Greece emerged victorious over Czech Republic in the other Group C game today, 67-56.

Alexandros Samodurov impressed and stuffed the stat sheet with 20 points, 13 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals and 5 blocks. He made all six of his shot attempts from two-point range.

Greece struggled from three-point range (2-of-20), but made up for it by shooting 59.5 percent from two-point (22-of-37).

Lukas Olbort was a bright spot and carried the load for Czech Republic in defeat, finishing with 24 points (second most on Day 1) and 3 rebounds, while making 8 of the team's 17 total shots from the field.

Lithuania and Italy were the victors from Group D today, winning their games 75-56 and 73-64, respectively.

Motiejus Krivas recorded a 13-point, 13-rebound double-double in only 19 minutes of action and was one of seven Lithuania players to score at least 8 points.

Emmanuel Innocenti paced Italy in their nine-point win with a well balanced stat line of 9 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists and 4 steals. Italy capitalized off of 19 turnovers by Croatia and turned them into 22 points.