2015 FIBA U19 World Championship Day 1 Roundup: June 27, 2015

Day 1 of the 2015 FIBA U19 Championship in Heraklion, Greece kicked off yesterday with all of the favorites gaining big victories. Defending champion Team USA got its maiden win along with powerhouses like Serbia, Croatia, Turkey, Canada, and host country Greece. 

Greece's twin towers helped them get an easy win on Day 1.

The day’s recap (from FIBA.com):

All of the nominal favourites prevailed on the opening day of the 2015 FIBA U19 World Championship - though some faced tougher tests than expected.

Reigning champions United States trailed 15-8 but then picked up their defensive intensity to rush past Iran, 83-53, with Josh Jackson pacing the Americans with 20 points, 10 rebounds and four steals. 

Jayson Tatum and the rest of Team USA trailed early, but they eventually got the better of Iran.

The other game in Group A saw Croatia roll past Egypt, 111-68, with Nik Slavica collecting 19 points, 10 rebounds, four assists and two steals.

But the game was overshadowed by news that star forward Dragan Bender will leave the team over a contract dispute.

In Group B, the U18 European champions Turkey opened a big lead over Argentina before watching the South Americans make it close. But Turkey's depth was too much for a 74-64 win. 

Turkish big man Ege Arar helped his team hold off the Argentines in Group B play.

Spain needed a 12-0 run in the fourth quarter to finally put away China, 84-73, in the other Group B encounter with Sergi Garcia pouring in 19 points to go with eight assists.

Group C’s marque match-up saw Canada take the dog fight with Australia, 74-71, as Dillon Brooks torched the Australians for 22 points while Justin Jackson had 11 points, nine rebounds and four blocks before going down with an ankle injury.

Nevell Provo of Canada flexes his pipes as they squeak past the talent-laden Aussies.

Italy had little trouble in the other Group C game with an 89-62 blowout of Tunisia as Diego Flaccadori had 21 points and eight assists.

In Group D, Serbia needed all they could muster in beating Dominican Republic, 82-77, with five Serbs scoring at least nine points. The Dominicans were playing their first game in the competition since 1983. 

Serbia had to leave everything out on the floor just to get by a tough Dominican Republic five.

Greece rolled in their Group D opener with Georgios Papagiannis collecting 16 points, 16 rebounds and five blocks in an 83-55 win over Korea.

All images from FIBA.

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