The opening day of the ESBA Championship Santander was full of action, with 12 games played in Palacio de Santander throughout Sunday.
Biggest win: Ranga-Statyba – 33 points (95-62 vs Vilniaus Statybos Senjorai)
Top scorer: Raul Respuelo (Veteranos Torrelavega) – 33
Most rebounds: Raul Respuelo (Veteranos Torrelavega) – 20
Most assists: Vitoldas Masalskis (Ranga-Statyba) – 10
The first day of the Championship was marked not only with the 12 official games, but we also got to see the opening ceremony, announced by Santander Council for Sports Juan Dominguez. Dance group Escuela de danza de Sara Vega was entertaining the participants and guests, while the game between the Cantabrian Selection and the European Selection ended up in a victory for the Spaniards. We finished off the night with a welcome party where the players got to see old and new friends.
The first game of the M40/45 age group was something to behold, as we witnessed a phenomenal performance from Veteranos Torrelavega‘s Raul Respuelo, who put up 33 points, 20 rebounds, 7 assists and 5 steals. The Spanish team edged Russian side Interwood 86-83.
Home side Margutsa later took on Basketclub from Kaliningrad and took a 67-48 win, led by Luis Angel Jorrin Teran, who had 18 points and 12 rebounds.
In the same age group, Santander defeated BC Sukhum 72-65 behind the duo of Pedro Alberto Benito and Alejandro Urtiaga, who scored 21 and 16 points, respectively. On the other side Dmitry Dzhindzholiya was impressive with 26 points and 16 rebounds.
Mercury-Kazan was victorious against Omega Kaunas, as they took a 71-44 after leading throughout the game. Alexander Solnyshkin was the game‘s highest scorer with 20 points. On the other side, Arvydas Venclovas led Omega Kaunas with 16 points.
Dinamo beat Kalush by 21, as they won 69-48. The trio of Sergii Demurin, Aleksei Ugriumov and Valerii Iaichun all scored in double digits for Dinamo
Two games were played in the M55 age group, as Garklane from Riga destroyed Atskalunas 68-39, as the Latvians were led by Andris Calitis, who scored 24 points. Darius Laskys was the only player in double digits for Atskalunas with 14 points.
The other game in the group was much closer, as Russian Project barely got through KFU Gorod Kazan 69-67 and enjoyed their first victory. Oleg Portnyagin was the top scorer for the winning side with 22 points.
The Lithuanian derby between Ranga-Statyba and Vilniaus Statybos Senjorai ended up in a blowout, with the first team winning 95-62. Viktoras Jasinskas scored a team-high 21 points in just 20 minutes, while Jonas Zizliauskas came off the bench to score 19 points for Vilniaus Statyvos Senjorai. Nevertheless, a good bench performance was not enough to keep close.
The matchup between Babailar and Kazan was low scoring, as the prior team won 55-43. Aleksandr Trubach and Yury Propadeev were the top scorers with 17 points each. Propadeev also added 10 rebounds to the tally.
The only women‘s game of the night was played between Zeltenes Latvia and Kamane. The Latvian ladies lost the final quarter 4-16, but still managed to hold on to a victory, as Zita Vilnone missed a possible buzzer-beater. The game ended 43-42 with Lorita Sausa leading the way with half of the Latvian side‘s points.