Eurobasket new-boys Georgia put in the performance of the day with a fantastic all-round display to beat Belgium 81-59 in Klaipeda
The Georgians won every quarter convincingly as they wiped Belgium off the floor and sent a message to all Group D teams, including Slovenia and Russia that they are not to taken lightly.
Zaza Pachulia led Georgia with 16 points, while Christophe Beghin led Belgium with 13.
Slovenia got their expected win over Bulgaria, but were not in the greatest form as they made incredibly hard work of their 67-59 victory.
EJ Rowland had single-handedly given Bulgaria the advantage as an upset looked to be on the cards as he netted 20 of Bulgaria’s 59 points overall. But, Slovenia, thanks to Erazem Lorbek’s 18 points and nine rebounds came away with their blushes spared.
Ukraine coach Mike Fratello got off to a losing start against old rivals, Russia. As the 2007 Eurobasket winners won 73-64.
Andrei Kirilenko was in fine form as he recorded a double-double of 20 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Russians to victory.
Ukraine had trimmed Russia’s lead in the fourth to just three with nearly two minutes left until Victor Khryapa connected for two, which was followed by a Kirilenko score to put the game out of Ukraine’s reach.