|Alexander Martynov paced Russia with 13 points, seven boards and five assists|
Russia began its U18 European Championship campaign in successful style with a 68-55 win against Group B opponent Bosnia and Herzegovina in Ventspils on Thursday night.
Aggressively attacking the ring at every opportunity, Russia turned a highly competitive game into a one-way contest in the third quarter by using a 29-8 run to get away from their opponents and open up a lead they would not again surrender.
Bosnia and Herzegovina opened the game with an 11-0 run, but fell behind after relying too heavily on its starting five. A drought in which they missed 13 consecutive field goal attempts allowed Russia to find its rhythm and fly back into the game.
Mikhail Maleyko scored five quick points to begin the second half and a revived Russia started to roll. The inside presence of the Russian big men, including an inspired second half from Alexander Gankevich (12 points, seven rebounds) sent a frustrated Bosnia and Herzegovina into a quick collapse.
Bosnia and Herzegovina cut the deficit to within single digits too late in what was a heated fourth quarter, but an Alexander Martynov-paced Russia (13 points, seven rebounds, five assists) held on for the win.