U18 MEN DIVISION C
|Moldova head coach Oleg Dical looks angry but had reason to celebrate anarrow win over Wales|
Moldova edged Wales 83-82 on the first day of the U18 European Championship Division C in Andorra on Monday, in a game that stayed close for the entire 40 minutes.
Wales found themselves down by three at the half but made their intentions clear right at the beginning of the second half when they pulled level, 52-52 on a Thomas North jump shot.
Wales could even surge ahead by three points late in the quarter but when the penultimate buzzer sounded both teams were tied at 67.
It looked like Moldova would open a bigger lead at the beginning of the final frame but Wales stroke right back going on a 10-0 run resulting in an 81-77 lead after a Samuel Roberts free-throw with 2:20 to play.
Moldova however, had saved their best for last and Vladislav Solopa emerged as the game hero.
The forward made four of his six free-throws down the stretch, the last one with only 10 seconds to play and scores tied at 82. He missed the second of his two free-throws but Wales were not able to get a shot off after.
Solopa finished with 23 points, pulled down 12 rebounds and handed out seven assists while Vladislav Golban added 21 points and four steals.
For Wales, James Cameron had 19 points and 11 rebounds in a losing effort.
In the other game of the day, Monaco prevailed over Gibraltar 61-54.
A 28-16 first quarter set the tone and although Gibraltar want on an 8-0 run to reduce the deficit to two points at 52-50, Monaco were able to get away with a win.
They missed five of their ten free-throws in the last two minutes but with Gibraltar only converting two of six from the charity stripe, Monaco hung on to the win.
Hugo Tata stood out, scoring more than one third of his team's points with 22, also adding four rebounds and three assists.
Gibraltar wasted a monster-double-double of 18 points and 16 rebounds of Timothy Fava.