|Center Zofia Hruscáková, with her fourth double-double in as many games in Bucharest, was the pillar of Slovak Republic's success|
A vibrant performance by Terezia Palenikova helped the Slovak Republic claim a famous and nerve-shredding 59-54 success against Italy in the first Group F game at the U18 European Championship Women.
The forward claimed 14 points and converted all of five of her shots inside during a super cameo display which supported yet another important double-double by Zsofia Hruscakova.
The success ensured Slovakia avoided a third straight loss and now gives them hope that a quarter-final place is not beyond them.
As for Italy, it was back-to-back losses for them and they will be ruing a poor third quarter, when they allowed the Slovaks to make the game-winning run which gave them the cushion they so desperately needed in the last minute.
With the game tied up at 36-36, the Slovak Republic posted a decisive 11-2 run.
And, while ultimately they had to hold their nerve and make free-throws as Italy threatened to snatch victory, Marian Matyas and his players will feel it was well deserved.
Erica Reggiani led the way for Italy with an assured shooting performance which harvested her 15 points.