The U17 World Championship is underway in Zaragoza, Spain, and Day 1 saw the USA lay down its obvious claim to the title with a commanding victory. Also tasting victory at the start of the tournament were Turkey, Spain, Bosnia, Canada, and South Korea.
The FIBA U17 World Championship is in its fourth edition, and USA is the defending champion. Indeed, the country has won all three golds since the 2010 first edition. The champs got off to a commanding start in Zaragoza, swamping Taiwan to the tune of 119-45. It was one way traffic throughout as Team USA blitzed the Asian team. Also in Group A, Turkey got off to an ideal start with a 61-71 win over Egypt, a good way to prepare for the USA tomorrow.
Host nation Spain went big in front of its own fans with an 86-55 win over Mali in Group B, led by Miguel Gonzalez with 20 points. Argentina could not produce enough space in the paint and was overworked by Lithuania in Group B, with the Europeans taking a 57-74 victory at the start of the U17 World Championship.
Finland stunned China in Group C, using a 23-12 first quarter to outpace the Asian country for a 62-58 win. Elias Valtonen set the tone for the Finnish with 22 points, while Andre Gustavson produced 18 points and 7 rebounds. Australia has finished runner-up to the USA in the last two editions of the U17 Worlds, but the team was off to a tricky start on Thursday and slipped to a 78-81 defeat at the hands of Canada.
The only game of the day to go to overtime saw South Korea outlast France for a 90-84 win after a hotly contested game. France trailed for long periods but managed to claw back and lock the scoreboard on 78-78 through regulation time. South Korea regained the momentum in the added act and drained 12 points for the win. In the other Group D game, Bosnia was too strong for Dominican Republic and came away from Day 1 with a 84-59 victory