Portugal put on a brilliant offensive performance and defeated Macedonia 108-90 in Group B of the EuroBasket Qualifying Round.
Five players scored in double figures and the Portuguese shot over 50 percent overall and from three-point range to claim a win in their first game of the qualifying campaign.
Miguel Minhava led the way with 21 and Carlos Andrade added 21 on 4-of-4 shooting from three-point range.
As a team, Portugal shot 14-of-27 from beyond the arch.
Everything was perfect for Portugal – except their showing in the game’s opening minutes.
Behind the free-throw shooting of Ryan Stack, Macedonia led 19-8 midway through the first quarter. Stack, who finished as the high man for Macedonia with 24 points, was a perfect 8-of-8 from the charity stripe during their early run.
Portugal cut the deficit to five after one quarter and eventually tied the score at 31 midway through the second on three-pointers from Minhava and Andrade.
The Portuguese continued their strong second quarter and scored the final five points of the first half on a Minhava three-pointer and a Paulo Cunha jump shot to go ahead 48-40 at intermission.
A 13-2 Portugal run at the beginning of the third quarter gave them a double-digit lead, 62-49.
Andrade scored 10 points on his own during the spurt courtesy of a pair of three-pointers and two field goals.
From there on, Portugal would maintain a double-digit advantage for the remainder of the game.
They went into the fourth up 78-66 and early in the quarter Portugal got six straight points on field goals from Miguel Miranda, Joao Santos and Elvis Evora which put Valentyn Melnychuk’s men ahead 86-69 with 7:54 remaining in the game.
Macedonia was able to get within 12 midway through the final quarter, but a three by Paulo Simao and free throws from Minhava put Portugal back ahead by 17 with just over three minutes to go. Macedonia would never seriously threaten again.
Francisco Jordão tallied 15 for Portugal, Santos added 12 and Miranda 11.
The teams' next game will both be on September 3rd. Portugal will take Bosnia Hervegovina in Sarajevo, while Macedonia hosts Israel.