|Miha Lapornik's 21 points sparked Slovenia as they upset the hosts with a great second half|
Slovenia took control of a finely balanced clash when it mattered the most and prevailed 79-69 over Sportland U20 European Championship hosts Estonia, in the game that concluded the first day of action in the tournament.
Cheered on by the local crowd at Saku Suurhall arena in Tallinn, the hosts fought for every loose ball and shot very well from three-point range (6-of-12 in the first half).
They were the only team to lead by double digits during the first two quarters, 22-12 with just over two minutes to play in the first frame, and whenever Slovenia took the lead, it was short-lived.
That changed when a spectacular buzzer-beating three-pointer on one foot from Domen Bratoz sent Slovenia to the locker rooms for the interval with a 47-45 advantage.
The Slovenians scored 11 points in quick succession when play resumed and a Gregor Hrovat triple 5:33 from the end of the third period gave them their first double-digit lead in the game, 58-47.
Estonia fought tooth and nail to claw their way back but they only reached as close as four points, as their effectiveness from three-point range started diminishing - they made 9 of their 27 three-point attempts.
Miha Lapornik paved the way for Slovenia with 21 points and eight rebounds, Hrovat had 17 points and four rebounds and Matej Rojc chipped in with 12 points and seven rebounds.
Martin Paasoja and Rait-Riivo Laane finished with 12 points each for the hosts in defeat.