|Lift him up: Davide Moretti earned the hugs, shining for Italy with 24 points and 7 rebounds|
Italy stunned Ukraine with an early scoring burst and never looked back as they made sure of their place in the second round of the U16 European Championship Men at the expense of Latvia.
After a tight start to the game, Italy went on a 22-2 tear to open up a 30-9 lead against the momentarily floored hosts, putting them in a hole they would never climb out of.
Ukraine had few to blame but themselves as Italy punished turnovers and capitalised on wayward shooting from long range during the run.
Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk has been Ukraine's hero in this tournament to date but his five turnovers in the first half alone were of no help to his team here and Italy took full advantage.
Mykhailiuk was doing his best to make amends from the free throw line, from where he sank four shots in a row to stem the bleeding as they closed the gap to 36-25.
But Italy scored the final four points before half-time and the first three after the break as three-pointers from Nicola Savoldelli quietened the home crowd.
Some tenacious play from Rostyslav Lunskyi got them on their feet again but as hard as Ukraine tried, Italy would not let slip their advantage.
The lead never again dipped below 12, and by the time Ukraine achieved that margin on Dymytro Berozkin's jump shot, there were only 25 seconds left on the clock and the game was up.
Davide Moretti led Italy with 24 points and seven rebounds while Valerio Costa had 17 with five assists.
Andrea La Torre battled first-half foul trouble but collected nine points and nine rebounds with seven steals.
Mykhailiuk finished with 21 points and six rebounds although his eight turnovers will be of concern.
Berozkin also scored in double figures with 14 rebounds.