By Yarone Arbel
Croatia are aiming high after a big 84-56 one-sided win over Latvia in Group F of the Qualifying Round in the Omnitel U16 European Championship Men.
This win ships Croatia on a 2-1 record cruise while Latvia have the opposite record of 1-2.
Including the Preliminary Round games Croatia stand now on three wins in a row with the last two of them by very big margins.
Marko Ramljak led Croatia with 18 points and four steals, Dario Saric added 15 with nine rebounds and six steals while Matej Buovac added 14.
Visvaldis Bikse scored 12 points and pulled down six rebounds for Latvia to be the only player of his team to reach double figures.
Croatia left little to chance from the beginning and already after two minutes took an 8-0 lead, which soon extended to 17-2.
Saric and Ramljak kept pushing the Croat wagon but Kaspars Vecvagars woke up for a short while and the difference was cut to seven, 29-22.
Berzins added five in a row to make it just a two point game, 31-29, but Ramljak and Buovac had the last say and Croatia held a 40-32 gap at the end of the first half.
Early in the second half it was once more the Saric-Ramljak duo who made the difference, and with a 14-2 run the scoreboard witnessed a 21 point game, 59-38.
The big momentum stayed on the Croatian side, as the margin reached already 32 deep in the fourth quarter.
Croatia will face a tough match with France tomorrow, while Latvia will try to get back on the winning track against Spain.