|Emese Hof paired up with Janis Ndiba to provide a lethal inside presence for the Netherlands|
Semi-final participants at the U18 European Championship Women last summer, the Netherlands got their 2013 campaign in Vinkovci off to a perfect start with a 71-59 success against a sloppy Belarus outfit.
Much of the game provided a memorable tussle which was characterised by a number of lead changes, but as the game wore on, the Netherlands became more dominant and a 19-9 final period proved to be the topping point.
The same could be said for the ball handling of Belarus which slowly disintegrated as they fell deeper into trouble. Turnovers mounted up and a worrying 30 was the final total and the big number of the night.
Neither team were able to break the game open for thirty minutes, the closest moment coming when the Netherlands got in front 41-33 just after the interval.
But Belarus responded impressively, eventually overhauling the deficit and moving 55-53 ahead, only for their newfound momentum to ebb away worryingly quickly.
They dried up in the last five minutes, only managing three points, as Netherlands poured in seven without reply down the stretch, five of which came from Klaziena Gujit.
She registered 16 points, but it was center duo Emese Hof and Janis Ndiba who excelled, stacking up a combined 22 points and 15 rebounds on seven-of-eight floor shooting.
Viyaleta Kiuliak had 15 points and 13 rebounds for Belarus, but eight turnovers and a loss spoilt her first night of work.