By Jared Grellet
|Sebastian Saiz went a perfect 5/5 from the floor to finish with 11 points and 6 rebounds for Spain|
Turning Point: Spain outscored Latvia 31-12 in the second frame.
Game Hero: Javier Marin. The shooting guard was considered to be the best player on the Spanish team prior to the tournament but after being diagnosed with mononucleosis (glandular fever) just weeks before coming to Lithuania, he has had to look-on for two weeks from the bench. However, in a poignant moment, Marin entered the game in the final 30 seconds, sinking the last points of the game from downtown.
Stats Don't Lie: Spain shot at 49.2% whilst Latvia shot at 36.5%
Spain have qualified for the 2013 FIBA U19 World Championship on account of defeating Latvia 80-51 in the fifth and sixth place classification game at the Samsung U18 European Championship.
It was one-way traffic in the curtain-raiser to the bronze medal game in Siemens Arena with Latvia failing to get up for the occasion, despite a trip to the Czech Republic riding on the outcome.
Despite committing eight turnovers and only making two-of-nine from the floor in the opening 10 minutes, Latvia were still in the game at the end of the opening frame on account of Spain only making slightly less errors at the other end of the court to be leading 12-5.
It was a different Spanish outfit that returned to the court at the beginning of the second frame, going 12-for-14 from the field, led by Oriol Pauli with seven points. When half-time arrived the Spaniards were holding a commanding 26-point lead, 43-17.
The outcome did not look any brighter for Latvia in the third quarter as their shots continued to go astray whilst Ilimane Diop Gaye began asserting his presence under the hoop at the other end of the court to help Spain surge further ahead with eight points in the period.
With the game already beyond doubt, Spain dropped the tempo over the final 10 minutes, allowing Latvia to enjoy their most productive offensive quarter of the game. However, they would never come remotely close to causing any concern for La Roja.
Diop Gaye finished with 14 points and six rebounds. Guillermo Hernangomez finished two back with 12 points, Sebastian Saiz had 11 and Alberto Diaz chipped in with 10.
Elvis Endzels was the only Latvia player to make double figures, scoring 11 points.