|28 July 2012|
Hind Ben Abdelkader and Antonia Delaere poured in 51 points for defending champions Belgium to help land a first victory at the U18 European Championship Women but the 73-64 success against Italy wasn't enough to avoid the Relegation Round.
Belgium's fate had already been sealed ahead of tip-off, after their hugely disappointing losses against Serbia and Slovenia, so this game was all about getting off the mark and preparing for the priceless mission of remaining in Division A.
However, even in defeat, there was still room for some improvement for the Belgians with the talented duo of Abdelkader and Delaere responsible for a combined 15 turnovers.
As for Italy, they suffered a first loss but were already assured of top spot in Group D and wouldn't have been able to carry a win against the Belgians into the second round on Monday.
It was during the third quarter when Belgium posted what proved to be the game winning run as Italy then fought in vain to make up the deficit during the final ten minutes.