Latvia used a strong final quarter to see off Bulgaria and open their U18 European Championship Men 2009 in Metz, France, with a 63-47 win.
In a relatively low scoring affair, the teams traded the lead for the first three quarters and the game seemed to still be up for grabs as Bulgaria only trailed by four, 47-43, heading into the final period.
However, Latvia proceeded to outscore them 16-4 over the last 10 minutes and put the game truly out of their reach.
Bulgaria ran out of gas with their shots failed to fall and their overall play deteriorated as they turned the ball over and over again.
Nauris Miezis led a balanced offense for Latvia with 12 points. Martins Meiers and Ugis Pinete chipped in with 10 each for Latvia.
Janis Rimbenieks side jumped out to a 13-9 lead but Bulgaria scored eight of the last 10 points in the period for a 17-15 edge.
The game stayed close in the second quarter as Latvia used a 6-0 run to regain the advantage 21-17 and the teams were tied at 25 with just over five minutes left in the half.
Latvia were on top 29-27 at the break but Bulgaria jumped back in front again in the third quarter, leading 40-36 midway through the period.
Rimbenieks men though bounced back and led 47-43 on Pinetes three-pointer in the last minute of the third quarter and they were able to build on that momentum to secure a comfortable win.