By Jared Grellet
|Jules Dang led England to their first win with 16 points and 6 assists against the Czech Republic |
England and Russia have taken steps in the right direction to avoiding elimination at the Dadu U16 European Championship, winning their opening games of the elimination round on Monday.
Taking to the court first at the Marciulonis Basketball Academy in Vilnius, England were able to put a forgettable week in Latvia behind them, taking the lead for good in the fifth minute against the Czech Republic, going on to win 86-77.
Jules Dang lead scoring for England, finishing with 16 points and six assists. Theo Oghide managed a 15-point, 10-rebound double-double.
The Czech Republic's Matej Svoboda was a prominent scorer in the first round in Panevezys and it looks set to continue in Vilnius with the small forward scoring 23 points to increase his average at the tournament to 19.
Perhaps the biggest surprise to be fighting for survival in the elimination round, Russia were finally able to get the first win of their campaign with a routine 71-63 win over Slovenia. Leading by 22 points heading into the final frame, Russia dropped the momentum in the last quarter, allowing Slovenia to put a little more respectability into the scoreline.
Stepan Getmanov finished with 15 points whilst Ilya Karpenkov produced a 13-point, 11-rebound double-double.
Slovenia's Nejc Zupan lead all scoring with 16 points.
On Tuesday Slovenia take on England whilst Russia meet the Czech Republic in the day's later game.