Turning Point: In the last 5:29 minutes of the first half, with the exception of an off-balance three-pointer at the second quarter buzzer, Belgium scored only two points, allowing Georgia to establish a concrete double-digit lead which they never relinquished.
Game Hero: Viktor Sanikidze didn't score the most points for Georgia but in his unique style was always the most active player on the floor and produced an all-around game. Two big alley-hoops paved the way to 13 points on 60% shooting from the floor but his best contribution was his 11 rebounds, six of them already in the first quarter, and also his four assists.
Stats Don't Lie: Georgia out-rebounded Belgium from the very beginning. An 8-4 gap in the first quarter later climbed to 26-16 after three periods and the margin continued to grow in the final frame until Georgia finished the game with a 38-21 advantage on the boards.
Two thousand Georgian fans saw their team make history with the first-ever win by the national team in a EuroBasket following an 81-59 victory over Belgium in the Group D opener in Klaipeda.
It was a one-sided affair as Georgia dominated the game from the very start and, other than a one-point Belgium lead in the early minutes, were on top for the entire 40 minutes.
Zaza Pachulia was the top scorer for the winning side with 16 points and he was followed by Viktor Sanikidze with 13 points combined with 11 rebounds and Tornike Shengelia added 13 points himself.
Christophe Beghin had 13 points and six rebounds for Belgium while Ilunga Mbenga added 12 with two block shots in 25 minutes.
A 38-21 gap in the rebounds and 14 offensive rebounds gave the eventual winners the advantage needed for the win.
"We played very good defense and were ready for them," said Pachulia after the game.
"We lost to them twice last year and wanted to come here and get a win that will give us confidence for the next games.
"I think we executed very well eventually and I'm happy we made all the fans that came here to support us very happy."
The first minutes were still close, but the dominance of Pachulia, Sanikidze and Vladimer Boisa under the basket was evident from the tip-off.
Beghin, with seven first quarter points, kept his team not too far but an alley-hoop play finished with a big dunk by Sanikidze set the first quarter score on 20-11.
Mbenga came off the bench and helped Belgium with some presence in the paint and his points from mid-range, but an aggressive defense by Georgia held Belgium to just two points in the last 5:29 minutes of the half before a desperate buzzer-beating three by Dimitri Lauwers gave Belgium some hope for the second half.
They trailed 37-24 deficit at the break.
Yet the rhythm didn't change in the second half as Georgia maintained the double-digit lead with Pachulia writing eight points in the third quarter and youngster Shengelia showed versatility.
A big fast break dunk by him set the gap on 62-45 mid way in the closing quarter and set the end of Belgium's hopes in the game.