Russia Thrash Latvia

31 July 2010

After the huge finish in the first semi-finals, followed a one-sided game where Russia beat Latvia 73-42 to continue their run in the OMNITEL U18 European Championship at Siemens Arena in Vilnius, Lithuania on Saturday night.

This is the first ever appearance of Russia in the title game of the U18 championship, and tomorrow will be their first visit to the podium in this age category, with the exact position on it still undecided.

Despite going into over-time in the quarter-finals it seemed like Russia had the better energies coming to the game, as they wrote a big 31 point win over the surprising Latvians.

Tomorrow Russia will take on Lithuania in a battle between the teams with the best records so far.

The host team didn't drop a game since, while Russia lost their first game after double overtime and since then went unbeaten.

Sergey Karasev led Russia with 16 points behind four three pointers, Vladislav Trushkin added 13, Andrey Loginov was a force in the paint with 12 points and 14 rebounds, Dmitry Kulagin added 11 points and five assists while Alexander Varnakov contributed 10 points and seven assists.

Davis Bertans was the top scorer of Latvia with 12 all of them already in the first 17 minutes of the game.

Latvia scored only eight field goals inside the arc and five on the arc yet most of all seemed without energies and the aggressiveness they displayed during the entire competition.

The opening minutes hinted already something isn't the same with Latvia while Bertans was the only one who showed up and scored all the first nine points of his team, before the first quarter finished with a tied 11-11 score.

The slow pace and close game continued as the teams entered the 15th minute tied at 16-16, before Bertans hit a deep shot to reach his eventually total of 12 and give his team a 20-23 lead, but that's where the story came to an end as far as Latvia were concerned.

Karasev scored twice from downtown and Trushkin added a jumper to create an 8-0 run until the half time buzzer.

Janis Timma tried to make things better for his team and cut the gap to just two early in the third quarter but Karasev was on fire and with another three point hit capped seven unanswered points by Russia.

With Loginov on the offensive board and Karasev accurate on the free throw line Russia jumped to a 47-33 margin at the end of the third quarter, but they weren't done yet.

Trushkin scored twice from the arc and Loginov added another jumper around the rim to push the gap to 20 inside the last nine minutes.

Bertans and co. were speechless and raised their hands earlier than expected.

Kulagin and Trushkin continued to damage their rivals while Latvia seemed lost, before the skilled Russian forward set the highest margin of the night just before the final buzzer and set it on 31.

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