Russia went on an incredible run midway through the second half to take the lead and then cruise to a 72-58 win over Latvia in the Qualifying Round at the U18 European Championship Men in Hagondange, France.
The Russians, who were playing catch-up for much of the first two and a half quarters, scored 18 consecutive points to turn a 39-37 deficit into a 55-39 lead over a period of more than six minutes and 30 seconds spanning the second part of the third quarter and the early part of the final period.
Latvia eventually ended that run with just over seven minutes left to play. Ugis Pinete's three-pointer to make it 55-42 was their first points since the 5:28 mark of the third quarter. The closest they would get the rest of the way was 70-58 - in the game's final minute.
The result saw Russia finish with a 3-2 mark in Group F, good enough for third place and a quarter-final encounter with hosts France on Friday.
Latvia meanwhile dropped to 1-4 and will now play in the classification games for 9th-12th places.
Early on, all signs pointed to a Latvia win as Latvia were in the ascendency for the better part of the first quarter, at one point leading 21-13.
Russia used an 8-0 run to tie the game with 54 second s left in the period but Ernijs Ansons made two free-throws in the closing seconds to secure a 25-23 edge heading into the second quarter.
And Latvia would stay on top, going up by four, 31-27, on Artjoms Butjankovs' lay-up with under four minutes left in the half. The teams' offensive proficiency disappeared in the second quarter as they combined for just 12 points, with Mikhail Solovyev's side down 31-29.
Nikita Balashov tied the score at the start of the third quarter before Latvia again pulled away slightly, going up 39-37 on Martin Meiers' basket with 5:28 left in the period.
Russia then went on their incredible run to put the game beyond their opponents' reach.