FIBA Europe U18 Hungary keep home fans happy in Miskolc
The first day of action in the Pannergy FIBA Europe U18 European Championship passed without any major surprises. Most of the teams with division A traditions showed their class as they came away with important victories against some of the smaller basketball nations.
Hungary are playing in Group B. They showed no mercy to Switzerland with a comfortable (82-35) victory. The game was over as a contest by half time with the hosts leading (50-12). Amadea Szamosi led the way with 25 points and 10 rebounds while her team-mate Judit Barnai picked up 15 rebounds while scoring 13 points.
Group rival Croatia also had an easy opening and beat Portugal (78-54). The contest was also over by half time with Croatia leading (44-17). Ivana Tikvic led the way for the winners with 19 points while Mafalda Barros scored 11 points for Portugal.
Artemis Spanou (left) from Greece has had a busy summer. She played for Greece at EuroBasket Women. Then she picked up the MVP award for the FIBA Europe U20 European Championship for Women Division B last month. Now she is in Hungary with the U18 team hoping for promotion.
Her team-mate Anthoula Chatzigiakoumi who also played at the U20 championship was the match winner for Greece with 23 points and 9 rebounds in the (70-68) overtime victory against Latvia.
Her free throws in the last 10 seconds to play in overtime sealed the victory. Spanou contributed 19 points and 9 rebounds. For Latvia Ance Aizsila was the top scorer with 15 points.
In the other group game Norway outscored Austria (55-50).
In Group C Finland and Israel got off to winning starts. Finland had a comfortable victory (89-63) against Luxembourg with 24 points by Annika Holopainen. Israel had to work harder in overcoming Denmark and only pulled away with an 11-0 run in the final quarter to win (77-71).
In Group AGermany took advantage of poor shooting by England to win (65-45) with 18 points coming from Laura Hebecker. Belarus also had a comfortable opening day victory (57-39) against Bulgaria.