History was made today in Riga, Latvia when Montenegro recorded their first ever win at the Division A level, and it was a very prestigious one.
The players from the new country defeated Spain 74-65 to take a 1-0 record in Group C.
Montenegro held a 19 point lead early in the second half, but saw Spain come back within four points from the tie before locking the win.
Vladimir Dasic led the winning side with 17 points, 13 boards and two blocks. Krsto Bjelica and Sead Sehovic followed with 14 each with the later adding eight rebounds and six assists.
"It was very important for us to win the first game," concluded game's MVP - Dasic. "We made a good team effort and played very well in the first half.
"We aren't experienced in this level so it hurt us a little and allowed Spain to come back, but I'm happy we still won."
Spain displayed five players in double-digits between 10 and 12 points. Victor Claver with 12 points and seven rebounds used the help of Pablo Aguilar with a double-double of 10 points and 10 rebounds to avoid a big defeat.
Montenegro held a 22-17 lead after one quarter, and early in the second quarter pushed the gas paddle.
Dasic and Sehovic carried a 10-2 run and another five points in a row before half-time separated the teams by 18 points at the buzzer.
"The first half we played very well. That's how we want to play in every stage of the competition," said assistant coach Dragan Radovic.
A free throw by Dasic set the biggest difference but that's when Spain started their come back.
Xavier Rabaseda and Claver were the main power in the 13-0 run that made it a totally new game even before the third quarter came to an end.
"Spain is a very good team. We knew it's not going to be easy to hold on to the lead in the second half," added Radovic.
Montenegro showed strong spirit and once again made a run to take another double-digit lead and enter the deciding quarter up 57-46.
Spain made one last effort and this time got only four points behind, 64-60, with five minutes to play, but Sehovic and Dasic didn't allow them to get any closer than that.
Montenegro will face Bulgaria tomorrow, while Spain will try to defeat the hosting team from Latvia.