|Francesca Dotto scored a team-high 13 points to help Italy win their third consecutive game |
Italy moved within touching distance of survival on the third day of the Relegation Round at the U20 European Championship Women by chalking up a hard-fought 61-58 win against Latvia which means they have now beaten all three of their rivals.
Following on from their wins against Portugal and Great Britain, they came up with the defence they needed in crunch time to seal a precious victory, holding Latvia to just one basket in five minutes which proved decisive.
Caterina and Francesca Dotto combined for 24 points while Clara Salvini pulled down 11 rebounds.
Sabine Dukate posted her highest score of the competition with 21 points but it was to be in vain as Italy completed their third success in as many games.
Now at the midway point of the fight to stay in the top division, Great Britain faces relegation when the tournament resumes on Friday with their form and basket difference making them favourites for the drop after another desperately poor performance.
They went down 66-39 against a Portugal team who has shown real guts throughout their time in Debrecen, despite having suffered more illness and absence than every one of their opponents - including the British.
And, they showed the fruits of their labour with an excellent win as Daniela Domingues poured in 20 points to keep their hopes of remaining at the elite level very much alive.