Avenitis Heroics Not Enough for Latvia



By Jared Grellet

Pierfrancesco Oliva (Italy)
Pierfrancesco Oliva was sensational for Italy with 23 points, 16 rebounds and 6 assists

In spite of Rauls Avenitis scoring 28 points for Latvia, it has not been enough to see his team avoid falling to Italy 76-67 in the second round of the Dadu U16 European Championship.

With 21 points already in the opening three quarters, Avenitis and Latvia looked on target for victory, overturning a 13-point deficit to be in front by a point going into the final frame.

But the home team could not maintain their momentum in the last 10 minutes as Italy stormed back to outscore Latvia 27-10 in the final frame to extend their unbeaten run in Ventspils to four games.

Pierfrancesco Oliva was prominent for the Italians, picking up an impressive 23-point, 16-rebound double-double on eight-for-eight shooting from the charity stripe.

However, the true stars for the Azzurini were Riccardo Rossato and Fredrico Mussini, combining for 20 points down the stretch to lead their team home.

Rossato ended with 18 points and Mussini, 14.

Latvia will try to come back on winning ways against Croatia on Tuesday while Italy face Ukraine.



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