By Jared Grellet
|Nejc Zupan and Slovenia inserted live into their campaign with a win over England|
Slovenia have finally got the monkey off their back with their first win at the Dadu U16 European Basketball Championship, whilst for Czech Republic, the wait for the illusive first victory goes on for at least another day.
Playing England in the first elimination round game of the day in Vilnius, Nejc Zupan's offensive influence continued to grow with the small forward picking up a game high 19 points, assuring Slovenia of an 83-69 win.
Zupan has increased his points tally in Lithuania by 4.25 points a night, making him the perfect sidekick to Matej Kavas. Zupan also leads his team in rebounding (7.6) and assists (2.0).
For England, Joe Mvuezolo scored 16 points whilst Dwayne Lautier-Ogunieye picked up a 13-point, 13-rebound double-double.
In the day's second elimination round game, Russia made it two-from-two in the elimination round, beating the Czech Republic 76-66.
Trailing by two points at the end of the opening frame, Russia upped their tempo in the second frame to take an eight-point lead into the break. Czech Republic fought back after the half, claiming back the two-point lead they had held at the end of the first quarter.
But in the final 10 minutes the Czechs faded as Russia started the frame on a 12-0 run, giving themselves a comfortable lead down the stretch.
Ilya Karpenkov lead Russia with a 14-point, 12-rebound double-double. Pavel Afanasev and Aleksandr Zuev also posted 14 points.
Matej Svoboda went past 20 points for a fourth consecutive game but with David Skranc the only other Czech to make it into double figures (15), it was another tough night at the office for the Czechs.
On Wednesday Russia play England and the Czech Republic go searching for their first win when they play Slovenia.