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13 - 22
July 2018
6 Mart Rosenthal (EST)
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Day 1 review: Estonia prove clutch in overtime; Poland break Georgia's heart

SOFIA (FIBA U20 European Championship 2018, Division B) – The FIBA U20 European Championship 2018, Division B just got underway, but Estonia and Slovakia were already working overtime in the Bulgarian capital Sofia on Friday.

Only one of the teams did got the job done in the end, as the Raido Ross-coached Estonians snatched a 73-71 win in extra time of a game that saw a total of 27 lead changes.

Ron Arnar Pehka paced the winners with a game-high 20 points, Mart Rosenthal collected 19 points and 6 rebounds, while Matej Drgon top-scored for Slovakia with 16 points and 7 boards.

Slovenia, Estonia and Albania picked up wins in Group B on Friday

Slovenia also tipped off their campaign with a win, topping Bulgaria 73-52, while Albania rounded out the opening-day Group B action by blowing the lid off Moldova with eight double-digit scorers and an impressive 139-66 scoreline.

Meanwhile, Russia overcame a cold start to get their promotion quest rolling with a 73-63 victory over the Netherlands in Group C. Despite opening the contest on  the right side of a 9-0 run, the Dutch side could not build on their powerful start and simply had nothing to offer against Grigory Motovilov's 24-point effort as the game progressed.

Luxembourg got the show on the road with a win over Armenia

In the other fixtures of the group, Czech Republic defeated Hungary 63-50 and Luxembourg got the better of Armenia 75-62, as Philippe Arendt led the way with 21 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists.

Over in Group A, the Arturs Strautins-led Latvia downed the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia 79-39, while Belgium defeated Belarus 60-51 with Tim Lambrecht registering 16 points and 12 rebounds in the win.

Belgium started their campaign in Group A with a win over Belarus

Later in the day, Georgia had their hearts broken in Group D by Poland, 59-58, after wasting an 18-point advantage in the second half of the contest. A free-throw stripe shot by Lukasz Kolenda decided the game in Poland's favor with just 3 seconds on the clock.

In the only other opening-day contest, Edon Maxhuni, Teemu Knihtinen and Elias Valtonen combined for 56 points, as Finland powered past Portugal 83-59.