|08 July 2011|
|Mayan Levy and Israel come out on top of Belgium |
Israel edged out Belgium in the final stages as they started their U20 European Championship Women Division B campaign with a 52-48 win.
The two teams had been tied at 43-43 with a little under six minutes to go, before Shira Schecht helped push them over the line with crucial points.
They pulled 48-44 clear with two minutes to go before Bar Galinski, who finished with a game-high 17 points, carried them over the line.
"We are very happy with this win," said head coach Edni Dagan. "We knew it was going to be tough because Belgium are a great team. I'm very satisifed with the performance of my players and hope we will continue to progress."
Greece sit top of Group B after a comfortable 64-52 win over Austria.
Greece led throughout, at one stage holding a 50-34 edge, although an Austrian rally closed the gap to seven, 52-45, with 3:50 to go.
They could get no closer, though, as Artemis Spanou scored a pair of baskets to pull clear again.
"This was a very difficult game for my young team," said Greece coach Dimitrios Bakogeorgos. "I think we are the youngest team here, and the first game is always hard, so I'm very happy to win."
|Daniela Domingues had 13 points, 8 rebounds and 3 assists for Portugal|
The other Group B game saw Alena Hanusova carry the Czech Republic to a 54-47 win over Estonia.
Hanusova came up with 17 points - including two key baskets in the final minutes - and added six rebounds to see off Estonia, who got 16 points and four rebounds from Mailis Pokk.
"This was a very difficult game, because my players didn't start well right away," said the Czech coach Marcela Cramer. "We were poor defensively against a team who played with good spirit."
In Group A, Portugal turned in a dominating performance to beat FYR Macedonia 72-58.
An early 16-0 Portugal run set the tone for a game in which they held a double-digit lead the rest of the way.
Michelle Brandao led all scorers with 18 points.
"I'm very happy with the win," said Portugal coach Eugenio Rodriguez. "It's always tricky to win the first game of the tournament, whoever the opponent is, but Macedonia were very organised."
In the last game of the day, Hungary beat Bulgaria 73-58 behind 25 points of Reka Balint. The Forward recorded the highest scoring of all player son day one as she went 11/17 from the floor.