by Jared Grellet
|Kadir Bayram contributed 6 points, 3 rebounds and 3 assists to Turkey's opening win|
Turkey have opened their account at the U16 Men European Championship in winning fashion, defeating Group A rivals, England, 81-56.
Holding a slender four point lead early in the second half, Ediz Oktay got Turkey to safety, hitting a jump-shot and backing it up with one of his team's two three-pointers on the night to spur a 14-2 run, putting the game beyond doubt.
The shooting guard finished the game with nine points. Ogulcan Baykan lead Turkish scoring with 12 points. Mehmet Alemdaroglu was prominent under the boards, picking up 12 rebounds to go with nine points.
"In the first half on offence we were not so good but we made good defence and then we finished the game in the third period" commented Turkey head coach Omer Ugurata after the final buzzer.
Sporting one of the tallest lineups in Ventspils with seven players over two metres, Turkey made full use of their height advantage, picking up 61 of their points inside the paint.
Jules Dang was the best of the Englishmen with 13 points.
In day two action, Turkey square off against Croatia whilst England go looking for their first win when they take on Italy.