Ukraine And Russia Start Strong

15 August 2008

Ukraine kicked off the Termosteps U16 European Championship Men with a 68-49 win over Hungary to complete the Group B action for the first day.

The group from Kiev is now tied with Lithuania with a 1-0 record while Spain and Hungary share a 0-1 record.

Oleksandr Prokopenko led his team with 15 points and four steals. Three players - Olexandr Mishula, V'Yacheslav Bobrov and Vyacheslav Motorchuk - added 12.

Adam Varga was the top scorer of Hungary with 14, as Bence Bodor added ten points and 12 rebounds.

Right from the tip off Ukraine was the boss of the game taking an early 13-2 lead.

By the end of the first quarter Ukraine climbed to a 22-8 margin taking advantage of a low shooting percentage by Hungary.

"Once Ukraine took a double-digit lead early in the game, we couldn't come back from there and the game was decided," summarized shortly Jozsef Radovic, Head Coach of Hungary.

For the reminder of the game Ukraine kept their lead stable, climbing to a high of 21 after another run.

Ukraine will play Spain tomorrow as Hungary will try to battle Lithuania.

Russia Top France

Russia had the smiling faces after a 63-55 triumph over France on the opening day in Group D.  

The Russians are now tied with Israel with a 1-0 record while France dropped to meet Georgia at the bottom of the group with a 0-1 balance.

Dmitry Kulagin led Russia with 17 points and Alexander Varnakov added 14.

Leo Westermann scored 12 and Evan Fournier finished with 11 and seven rebounds.

France dominated the boards taking 20 offensive rebounds, as they out-rebound their opponent 41-31, but that wasn't enough to challenge the win.

The Russian side took an early lead and kept it throughout the entire game even when France came just a point far.

After a close five minutes the Russians took on a 7-0 run to take an 19-11 lead.

France came back and four minutes without a point on either side in the second quarter allowed them to stay close, on the way to a 25-24 half time split.

Kulagin was on fire as Russia climbed back to 40-31, but France found their hope in Westermann who kept his team going.

With three minutes to play the gap was just three, 52-49, but two hits from long range and kept Russia on top on the way to their premier win.

Russia will meet Israel on the day opener tomorrow, while France will look for their first win against Georgia.

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