Day 1 of the 2012 FIBA U17 World Championships

Senegal-bron Ilimane Diop led the Spaniards over
a gritty Korean five in Day 1

Spain and Croatia cruised to opening day victories in Group B of the 2012 FIBA U17 World Championship, while Canada disappointed the home crowd by coming back for a 13-point deficit to beat hosts Lithuania in overtime.

Canada’s Marial Shayok scored 16 points, including a three-pointer off the glass near the end of regulation to force overtime, and Kevin Zabo also tallied 16 points in Canada’s 69-63 victory over the tournament hosts.

Lithuania, who were led by Edvinas Seskus’s double-double of 13 points and 14 rebounds, built a 13-point lead in the second quarter.

The hosts were up by three points with 10.5 seconds left when Shayok banked in his triple from straight on.

“This is a big win, taking our first game against Lithuania. It showed our character. We just stayed together and fought until the end,” said Shayok.

When asked if he called his bank on the decisive three-ball, Shayok smiled and said: “I had a feeling it was going in. My shot was off today, but I’m just thankful it went in.”

Spain struggled a bit in the first quarter, but used their superior size in knocking off Korea 80-62.

Ilimane Diop had 17 points and 13 rebounds for Spain and Marcos Portalez chipped in with 12 points off the bench as Spain out-rebounded Korea 67-34.

Korea was paced by Heo Hoon’s 19 points, while Kim Nakhyeon added 14 points in the loss.

Croatia, meanwhile, scored the first 21 points of the game in beating Argentina 78-68 with Mario Hezonja collecting 24 points and 13 rebounds while Paolo Marinelli added 13 points.

The Croats led by 31 points in the third quarter, but sweat out the victory as Argentina – led by 17 points from both Gabriel Deck and Alvaro Merlo – cut the deficit to eight points with 1:24 remaining.

Group B action continues on Day 2 with Croatia taking on Canada, Lithuania looking for its first win against Korea and Spain squaring off with Argentina.

Jiri Dedek and the Czechs surprised the French
in their first match of the meet.
Marial Shayok and the Canadians disappointed the
hosts to open the World U17 tourney.

Mario Hezonja and the Croats survived a blistering
fourth quarter run by the Argentines.

Reigning champions United States used a third quarter spurt to pull away from Australia and open their 2012 FIBA U17 World Championship campaign with a victory to join China and Czech Republic with day one Group A wins.

Five players scored in double figures for the USA, led by Stephen Domingo’s 17 points to lead the Americans to an 89-67 victory over the Australians, who were paced by Dante Exum’s 17 points.

The biggest lead of the first half was nine points for the U.S. and the Aussies trailed 43-38 shortly before the Americans went on a 19-1 run to decide the game.

The Czechs – surprise finalists at last summer's U16 European Championship – pulled off the first surprise of the tournament in knocking off France 70-64 thanks to 24 points off the bench from Adam Pechacek and an impressive performance from Radovan Kouril.

“It’s a great feeling. We came here and said we have nothing to lose. We have to play 100 percent all 40 minutes. We did it. We won. It’s amazing,” said Kouril, who tallied 12 points, 6 rebounds, 15 assists and 3 steals.

France was led by Olivier Yao-Delon's 16 points.

China is second in Group A on point differential thanks to an 80-68 win over Egypt and 25 points from Zhao Jiwei.

The Egyptians fell behind 35-11, but fought back to get within nine points as Moataz Hosny had 20 points, 4 rebounds and 3 blocks while holding China star Zhou Qi to 9 points and 6 turnovers.

Day 2 in Group A has China playing Australia, France taking on Egypt, and the United States facing Czech Republic.

Jabari Parker and the Americans cruised past the
Australians for win #1.
Athletic guard Zhao Jiwei scored 24 to
lead China past Egypt.
Source: All recaps are from

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