Slovenia begin World Cup qualifying campaign with win, round up

The European leg of the FIBA World Cup qualifiers got underway on Friday night with Eurobasket champions Slovenia getting their campaign off on a winning note in Group A against Belarus.

Vlatko Čančar had 20 points as the European champions captured an 87-74 win in Ljubljana.

Despite not fielding a single player from the recent Eurobasket, Spain were still able to get a 79-66 road win over Montenegro in the other Group A clash.

Inspired by the hot shooting of Fenerbahce guard Melih Mahmutoglu, Turkey overcame Latvia 85-73 in Group B. Mahmutoglu posted 24 points on 6/10 shooting from three-point land as the Turks got off to a winning start.

Lithuania recovered from a slow start to overcome minnows Kosovo 99-61 on the road in Group C.

With the game tied at 35-35 at halftime, Lithuania found their rhythm to start the third, starting on a 10-0 run and eventually putting themselves out of sight and securing a comfortable win. Adas Juskevicius led the Lithuanians with 16 points.

There were notable upsets on opening night as Bosnia & Herzegovina edged Russia 81-76 and Netherlands beat Croatia 78-71.

Other scores: 

Group A: Montenegro 66-79 Spain; Slovenia 87-74 Belarus

Group B: Turkey 85-73 Latvia; Sweden 76-84 Ukraine

Group C: Poland 70-60 Hungary; Kosovo 61-99 Lithuania

Group D: Netherlands 68-61 Croatia; Italy 75-70 Romania

Group E: Bosnia & Herzegovina 81-76 Russia; Belgium 59-70 France

Group F: Bulgaria 80-82 Finland; Czech Republic 89-69 Iceland

Group G: Germany 79-70 Georgia; Serbia 85-64 Austria

Group H: Israel 88-68 Estonia; Great Britain 92-95 Greece