|Denmark received a harsh welcome to Division A from Matteo Imbrò and Italy, who got off to a winning start at the Samsung U18 European Championship|
By Jared Grellet
Italy eased past Denmark, 86-63, in the opening game of Group B action at the Samsung U18 European Championship in Vilnius, Lithuania.
The Danes, newcomers in Division A, were offered a harsh introduction to life in the elite division against an Italian side who were a class above them.
Going seven-for-11 outside the perimeter in the first three quarters, the Azzurrini were just as effective under the basket, outscoring Denmark 42-22 inside the paint.
Both coaches employed a heavy-rotation policy, with 23 of the 24 players involved in the game and scoring points.
Mirco Turel and Simone Fontecchio both picked up 14 for Italy whilst Matteo Imbró chipped in with 13.
Peter Moeller lead Denmark with 13 points.
Denmark need to put the loss behind them quickly as they turn around on Friday to take on hosts Lithuania, whilst also contending with an unforgiving partisan home crowd.
Italy will take on Greece in the first game of the day at Vilnius Arena.