Israel rose to the challenge posed by rivals Italy and Montenegro in the race for pole position in Group A of EuroBasket Qualifying Round after an impressive team performance in Riga helped them complete an impressive 92-56 demolition of Latvia.
It was a sensational second quarter that blew the hosts away with Israel running riot, to outscore their opponent 36-11 to take an unassailable lead.
There was little to suggest that Latvia would implode in such worrying fashion taking into account the opening minutes when they stormed into a 15-7 lead after a basket by Kaspars Berzins.
However Israel, who knew there was no margin for error simply had to respond quickly and not allow the game to get away from them early.
They replied instantly and posted an 11-3 run with a Tal Burstein jump-shot on the buzzer helping them into an 18-15 advantage.
It was a sign of things to come for the home team who then buckled in worrying fashion under a tremendous display of power by Israel.
Midway through the second period, they exploded and poured in 19 points and held Latvia to just 6 points in a blistering five minute spell.
It meant at half time, they held 54-26 lead and the game was effectively over.
While Latvia did come out strong in the third quarter, there was little for the 3,600 fans in attendance to cheer as Israel stepped back on the accelerator to romp to victory.
Yuval Naimy, David Bluthenthal, Guy Pnini, Lior Eliyahu and Omri Casspi all registered double-digit scores for Israel.
Andrejs Selakovs was the pick for Latvia with the 21 year old recording 14 points and 6 rebounds in just 16 minutes.
"We lost the game on all parameters. For example - 21 fouls, 44 points we lost from penalty court. Of course, someone can find excuses that we did not play 4 players, but we don't do it. I feel, the players are tired. We will try to be ready for the last game in this qualification round in Finland."
Israel Head Coach Arik Shivek:
"We fought for each point regardless of the results. Five players scored more than 10 points, others close to ten points. I am satisfied on the balanced team game. With the same concentration will continue to prepare for the game against Finland. Nothing is over yet!"