Georgia’s 2nd win of the tournament saved them from last place. In the 11th-12th place game it was Latvia who suffered the loss, despite another big performance from Edgars Jeromanovs who finished with 29 points and 9 rebounds.
Yet another overtime in this Championship. Bulgaria needed the extra 5 minutes to send Latvia to the 11-12 games, and face Lithuania in attempt to capture the 9th.
In the last few years we have become used to seeing a big man dominate the young Latvian teams. First came Kasparas Kambala, then Raitis Grafs and most recently Andris Biedrins from the Latvian cadets. This year's U18 team was supposed to be led by the same Biedrins in this championship, but the talented center became a lottery pick in the last NBA draft and signed with Golden State Warriors. Latvia was left without its #1 star and in fact without a dominating power in the paint as it has become accustomed in the recent young national teams.
Once Biedrins quit, the spotlight moved directly to the back court and point-guard Edgars Jeromanovs had to step up. Jeromanovs spent one season in the USA before coming back to Latvia and joining the junior team of Ventsplis, the Latvian champion, and deciding that basketball is what his mind is set upon.
The Golden State Warriors have signed forward Andris Biedrins - the first Latvian to be selected in the first round of the NBA draft. Under the League's rookie salary scale, Biedrins receives a three-year deal worth a minimum of 4.64 million US dollars with a club option for the 2007-08 season.
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