|Anton Musiyenko and Ukraine pleased the home-crowd with a solid win over Latvia|
Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk lit up Kyiv's Sports Palace with a virtuoso display as hosts Ukraine opened their U16 European Championship Men campaign with a 78-61 rout of Latvia.
After a colourful opening ceremony, Mykhailiuk put together a personal highlights reel with an array of dunks and three-pointers against an overwhelmed Latvian defence to the delight of the home crowd.
He finished with 26 points and 11 rebounds, while adding five steals and four assists.
Latvia had taken an early lead thanks to Renars Birkans' three but their reliance on the long-ball was soon exposed as they missed six in a row and fell into a 28-14 hole.
Mykhailiuk, who also played in this tournament last year, was doing most of the digging to put them there, and hit a long three before throwing down his first dunk of the night on a fastbreak.
He then had another three in a 13-0 Ukraine run to start the second period as they took total command.
Kyrylo Marchenko's three put them up by 20 and though Latvia briefly rallied, there was no let up from the tenacious Ukrainian players, with Vitaliy Zotov making it 39-23 with a steal and open lay-up.
Their lead was 47-25 at half-time, and it seemed they eased off in the third period, allowing Latvia to edge it by a couple of points.
They had eased off a little too much by the start of the fourth quarter when Verners Kohs split a pair of free throws for Sweden and Dzeiks Krumins grabbed the offensive rebound from the second to sink a three-pointer.
Birkins' jumper made it 62-46 moments later and prompted a time-out from Ukraine coach Vitalii Usenko.
When play resumed Mykhailiuk made a monster dunk as if to signal Latvia's fun was over, and moments later he completed a three-point play from the line to make it 67-46.
Foul trouble sent him to the bench late on but he re-emerged for the final two minutes and added one more dazzling play, an off-balance jump shot as he fell backwards that banked in.
Sergiy Pavlov added 13 points while Dmytro Berozkin had 11 for Ukraine.
Arturs Strautins led Latvia with 13 while Kohs had 12 and Krumins 10.