U18 FC Barcelona survived a fight in its opening game of the Euroleague Basketball Adidas Next Generation Tournament Patras in knocking off debutant U18 ZPA Tbilisi 78-64 in Group A. The 2016 continental champion Barcelona put the game away with a 13-2 run in the fourth quarter and forced the Georgian side into 25 turnovers. Rafa Villar paced four Barcelona players in double figures with 15 points while Andreas Holst scored 13 points, Dayan Nessah collected 12 points and 7 rebounds and Daniel Iruela added 11 points. Giorgi Ochkhikidze led Tbilisi with 19 points and Luka Alavidze picked up 18 points.
Barcelona fights off Tbilisi for opening win, 78-64
Ochkhikidze hit a three-pointer to score the first points of the tournament - and the first points in the history of the competition for the team. Teodor Simic countered with six points in helping Barcelona build a 10-5 lead. Alavidze had four points at the other end and Tbilisi was within 13-11 before it was trailing 19-12 after 10 minutes. Tbilisi did not go away with Ochkhikidze hitting two more triples and it was 30-29. Barcelona finally was able to pull away a bit with a 16-3 close to the first half as Holst and Nessah combined for 11 points and the Spanish side was up 46-32 at the break.
Barcelona remained in control and was up 56-39 with 3 minutes left in the third quarter. Tbilisi tried to make things interesting with eight straight points to close within 56-47 and was down 58-47 after 30 minutes. The Georgian side scored the first points of the fourth quarter to get the deficit down to nine points again but Barcelona reeled off a 13-2 surge to put the game away for good 71-51.