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Israel's Under-20 side edged closer to the semifinals of the U-20 European Championships on Tuesday, defeating Georgia 81-74 in the first game of the quarterfinal group stage at Nova Gorica, Slovenia.
The blue-and-white opened the game with a 7-0 run and maintained its lead throughout the entire contest.
Hapoel Galil Elyon Golan guard Yogev Ohayon led the side with 23 points and six assists, with Elishai Kadir continuing his excellent tournament, scoring 16 points and grabbing nine rebounds.
Tuesday's victory adds further importance to the already crucial game between Israel and Italy on Wednesday. An Israeli win will all but guarantee the team a spot in the final four.
However, a loss will end any hope the blue-and-white has of advancing past the quarterfinals phase. Israel concludes the group stage with a game against Bulgaria on Thursday evening.
After opening the game against Georgia with a 12-2 run, Israel continued to extend its lead, opening a 12 points margin (27-15) by the end of the first quarter.
Israel remained comfortably ahead in the second period and led 43-30 at the break.
The Georgians cut into the lead in the third quarter and came within six points (57-51) during the period.
Israel took a 10 point advantage (64-54) into the final 10 minutes of the game, but with two and a half minutes to go Lasha Parghalava (led Georgia with 14 points) brought the Georgians within two points (72-70).
Four straight points for Kadir, however, helped Israel reclaim its control of the game and clinch the important victory.
Omri Caspi, who has been the team's best player in the tournament to date, scored 14 points and took five rebounds, with Tal Dunne adding 15 points and six rebounds.