Latvia collected their debut win in EuroBasket 2007 after beating Turkey 73-62 in Group A's opener in Vasto on Monday.
The next EuroBasket hostess took a solid lead early in the second quarter and never let go until the final buzzer.
"We knew it was going to be our most important game in this stage. We prepared two
|Gunta Basko was all over the court for Latvia with 17 points, seven rebounds and seven assists.|
Their preperation was shown from the first moment.
Latvia was ready for Turkey's outside shooters.
They played aggressive defense on the perimeter from the first moment, and allowed Turkey only a single three-pointer the whole game.
Gunta Basko carried Latvia to the big win but in a game of ups and downs she committed six turnovers and converted only one of her seven shots from long range.
"Everybody makes mistakes. I tried to fix them, and I'm happy I was able to contribute in other fields," she said afterwards.
Basko was Latvia's top scorer with 17 points, the top passer with seven assists and also grabbed seven rebounds to be the second best rebounder on the team tonight.
"We were a little big nervous but played aggressive from the very start, and that was the key for the win."
Basko was there whenever her team needed her. She made big plays when Turkey came close, and her only made three-pointer was an off-balance jumper to beat the shot clock in the last quarter.
The teams were close to each other from the first moment, and finished the opening ten minutes tied at 18-18.
Turkey stayed neck to neck midway in the second quarter thanks to their offensive rebounds, but when Anete Jekabsone-Zogota stepped up for Latvia with eight points in the second quarter, and Leva Kublina connected on five quick points, Latvia took off with an 8-0 run to lead 38-31 at half time.
Turkey continued to miss shot after shot from three-point range, as Latvia took their biggest lead of the game, 45-32, after Basko scored two and dished an assist to Eglite.
Turkey did assert themselves inside in the form of Nevriye Yilmaz and Yasemin Horasan.
While Latvia had four players in double-digits, Turkey enjoyed a good offensive contribution from only those two.
Each scored 21 points, and combined for 18 rebounds, three assists and three blocks, but that wasn't enough.
"Our guards couldn't make their long range shots tonight, but Latvia was very aggressive and we couldn't get the win. We have to stick together now and be ready for the next two games," said Yilmaz.
She connected on four points in a row to make it a six point game early in the fourth, but then Basko stepped up.
With a lay up, a drawn foul on the offensive board and assist for a three pointer by Kublina she sent her team to another double digit margin, and secured the debut win.
Latvia will take on Israel tomorrow while Turkey will look for their first win against the champs from the Czech Republic.