Maltese star Cassar steals the show; wins for Moldova, Cyprus and Norway
NICOSIA (FIBA U18 European Championship 2017 Division C) - The FIBA U18 European Championship 2017 Division C got under way in Cyprus on Tuesday, with a classic individual display by Maltese star Kurt Cassar to tip off the action.
The 6ft 9in (2.06m) big man amassed 29 points and 24 rebounds for a total efficiency ranking of 39, as Malta opened the tournament with a 74-61 victory against their opponents from San Marino in Group B.
His teammate Nicholas Formosa also had a big game for the winners with 19 points, 5 assists and 4 rebounds, while Simone Giacomini was the top scorer for San Marino with 13 points to his name.
In the other game of the group, Moldova also got off to a victorious start by beating Gibraltar 90-84 in a fast-paced affair, decided only in the final quarter of the close-fought contest.
Moldova pulled away late against Gibraltar
Victor Legosin led the winners with a team-high 24 points on solid 9-of-16 shooting from the field, adding 8 rebounds and 3 assists, while Vadim Raducan had a field day under the basket, collecting 12 points, 22 rebounds and 5 assists in an impressive all-around performance.
Gibraltar's game revolved around the duo of Sergio Gil and Alejandro Garcia – Gil scored 26 points, registered 9 steals and dished out 6 assists and Garcia added 23 points and 9 rebounds.Armenia had no answers for Cyprus on the defensive end
Avgoustinos Sofroniou led the Cypriots with a double-double of 18 points and 12 rebounds, while Michalis Motits was the team's only other double-digit scorer with 11 points. Meanwhile, Andre Zohrabyan collected 11 points and 9 rebounds for Armenia.
Norway joined the opening-day victory club by outgunning Kosovo 82-65 in the last game of the day at the Eleftheria Sports Arena, achieving the decisive breakthrough in the final period.A fourth-quarter spurt saw Norway get a win on opening day
The Scandinavians entered the final period up just 57-55, but blew out their opponents 25-10 the rest of the way to get the victory count rolling behind Simon Muller-Landsvik's 18 points and 5 assists.
Johan Flaa chipped in with 13 points, Ulrik Stranger-Johannessen added 10, while Dardan Kapiti double-doubled for Kosovo with 13 points and 10 boards.