The Israel Under-20 Basketball Team defeated Russia 78-72 to open the FIBA Challenger Tournament in Crete, Greece. The Blue & White jumped out to a quick 24-13 lead after ten minutes but Russia tied the game up at 38 by halftime and subsequently went up 62-53 by the end of the third quarter. However, Israel fought back and outscored the Russians 25-10 over the final ten minutes to notch the 6-point win.
Israel was able to hold Russia to a paltry 5/25 from long distance and 19/58 for 32.8% overall despite going to the free throw line 33 times compared to 11 for the Sabras.
Amit Aharoni led the way with 15 points, 6 assists and 4 steals, Yahel Melamed added 14 points, 7 rebounds and 6 steals while Yonatan Atias chipped in with 10 points and 5 rebounds to help head coach Ariel Beit Halachmi’s squad take the win.