Defending champions Spain overcame their first real test at the Termosteps U16 European Championship Women, coming back to hold off Ukraine 77-65 in Group F.
Vega Gimeno Martinez scored 25 points and Leonor Rodriguez tallied 14 points, four rebounds, eight assists and seven steals as Spain improved to 3-0 in the Qualifying Round.
Ukraine's size, especially Olesya Malashenko and Ol'Ha Maznichenko, caused plenty of problems for the smaller Spaniards, who were out-rebounded 47-33 in the game.
But Jose I. Hernandez Fraile's team compensated with their quickness, as they forced 27 Ukraine turnovers - many of which were converted into fast-break points.
Spain struggled early to solve the Ukraine inside game and the eastern Europeans jumped out to an 11-1 advantage. The Ukrainian lead was up to 23-11 at the beginning of the second period - by far topping Spain's previous largest deficit in the tournament of four points against Latvia.
But Spain turned up their defensive pressure and Laura Arroyo Zubeldia's inside basket finished off a 15-1 run to put the Iberians ahead 26-24.
The game remained hard-fought and Ukraine opened a 38-33 gap early in the second half only to have Spain answer with an 11-0 spurt before eventually going up 51-43 with two minutes left in the third.
Ukraine fought back and went ahead 58-56 with 5:22 to play. But then fell apart, committing four turnovers as Spain used a 12-0 run to open a 10-point advantage 68-58 with 2:34 to go.
Ukraine struggled against the Spanish press the rest of the way, all told making just three baskets in the fourth quarter - and only one in the final 8:44.
"The final result was not indicative of how close this game was. We had a real hard time with their big players and had to do everything we could," said Hernandez Fraile.
"I think in the end, it was good that we had to play a close game like this after three relatively easy games in the first round. Ukraine, Russia and France are all very good teams and this game taught us a lot."
Three Ukrainians registered double-doubles: Malashenko (19 points and 16 rebounds), Maznichenko (11 and 13) and Krystyna Matsko (10 and 12). But it was not enough for Ukraine, who dropped to 0-3 in the group and face Belgium on Wednesday.
Spain look to remain unbeaten when they take on Russia.