ALCOBENDAS (FIBA 3x3 U18 World Championships) - The rain poured in Alcobendas on Friday, but it didn't dampen the spirits of the players and teams who put on a great show indoors on Day 1 of the FIBA U18 World Championships, presented by Nike.
With the weather deciding not to cooperate, the action was moved inside the Amaya Valdemoro Pavilion and those lucky enough to have been there were treated to a great basketball show.
The Boys' Tournament saw a good number of games go down to the wire, with a couple decided by wild buzzer-beaters.
Hosts Spain edged out Brazil 13-12 on Dario Brizuela's stepback jumper, while Romania needed overtime and an incredible shot by Vlad Stoicoviciu to get past Latvia 17-16.
By the end of the day, Canada, Serbia, Bulgaria - last year's beaten finalists - and Russia were the five only unbeaten teams (4-0).
That was in part because of surprise performances by several small basketball nations. Switzerland won their first three games - against Estonia, Venezuela and Jordan - before falling to the mighty Russians, the only team with a better record than them in Group C.
Belize turned some heads with wins over Poland and China. They also came extremely close to handing the Canadians their first loss in Group A late in the day.
"It's the first time a Central American team is in this tournament. It's great to know that we came from Belize, a small country and beat teams like Poland and China," said Belize's Brian White.
"We're having a lot of fun. Everything is nice and everyone is great."
The Boys' reigning champions from New Zealand are third in Group A having won three of their four games.
The other title-holders, Spain's girls, showed why they are the team to beat by seeing off Switzerland, Estonia and Jordan quite comfortably to top Group A.
Their task will be tougher on Saturday when they go up against France and Turkey.
The USA, Australia, Czech Republic and Italy - who lost in the Final to Spain last year in Rimini - are the other teams that finished Day 1 with perfect 3-0 marks in the Girls Tournament.
Romania was something of a surprise package as they beat Canada and England while also pushing Australia close to the edge to finish the day with two wins and one loss.
Lithuania's girls showed it isn't just the men and boys in their country who live for basketball as they edged out China and Chinese Taipei to stand second in Group B behind the USA.
The Girls Tournament in particular is seeing some players return for their second FIBA 3x3 U18 World Championships.
Among them are Astou Ndour, who is leading the charge for Spain and the USA's Kaela Davis - who went on a scoring frenzy in a Semi-Final against Italy in 2011.
"It feels great to be out here and play this fast-pace game again. It's fun," said Davis.
"Having played last year helps to understand this game. So many people come to it and don't understand how fast it is and how quickly things can change."
On Saturday, the group stages will conclude for both the boys and girls.
Also on the agenda will be the Semi-Finals of the Mixed Tournament, with Lithuania taking on Switzerland and France going up against the hosts Spain.
The individual competitions will also get underway with the qualifying rounds of the Nike Dunk Contest and the 2 Ball.
You can follow all the action from Alcobendas on spain2012.fiba.com.