U18 Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade opened the Euroleague Basketball Adidas Next Generation Tournament Belgrade with a dominant 104-71 victory over U18 Valencia Basket for a 1-0 record in Group A. The 2014 continental champion built a big lead in the first quarter and was never threatened the rest of the way. Luka Vudragovic paced Zvezda with 24 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists while Lazar Gagic scored 16 points and Andrija Vukovic chipped in 12 points. Valencia dropped to 0-1 despite David Barbera scoring 18 points, Pablo Navarro and Lucas Mari both picking up 12 points and Sergio De Larrea adding 11 points.
U18 Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade 104-71 U18 Valencia Basket
There were six lead changes in the opening 4 minutes with Barbera and Mari combining for 11 points for a 10-11 Valencia lead. The home side responded with an 18-5 run to open a 28-15 advantage. Vudragovic had scored 12 points already as Zvezda was up 37-18 after 10 minutes. Valencia managed a 2-10 surge early in the second quarter to pull within 41-28, but Zvezda punched back with 13 straight points over 4 minutes to lead 57-29. The score was 63-36 at the break.
The third quarter saw Valencia score a bit more consistently but could not get many stops and cut into the Zvezda lead. Barbera scored 6 straight points to get the Spanish side within 73-51 and the margin was down to 21 points before Zvezda led 80-57 after three quarters. Zvezda made sure there would be no surprise by holding Valencia scoreless for almost the first 4 minutes of the final frame to lead 87-57. It was never closer than 26 points the rest of the way.