Latvia Beat Slovakia To Stay Top



14. Kaspars Berzins (Latvia)
Kaspars Berzins led the way for Latvia with 18 points and eight rebounds

Latvia did their homework early against Slovakia on Wednesday and secured a comfy 86-66 win at home, to remain tied with Romania in first place of EuroBasket 2015 2nd Qualifying Round Group F.

Janis Timma drilled a three-pointer 37 seconds from the end of the first quarter to ignite a 13-0 run for the hosts which Rolands Freimanis capped off with another triple with 7:02 remaining in the second quarter, bringing Latvia ahead 31-14.

Latvia did not maintain their sharpness from long range as they finished on 8-for-24 from three, but were dominant in the paint, out-rebounding their guests 41 to 29, and shared the ball very effectively, dishing out 25 assists.

Using these aspects as the basis the Latvians pulled ahead 49-26 by the half-time break and kept their foot on the gas until the mid-point of the third quarter, as a Martins Meiers lay-up with 6:11 remaining to the end of the period gave them their biggest lead all night, 59-28.

With the result beyond doubt Latvia stopped pushing hard and the proud Slovaks reduced the deficit in the fourth frame.

Big man Kaspars Berzins went six-for-nine from two-point range and collected a game-high 18 points and eight rebounds, Freimanis added 14 points and veteran Kristaps Janicenoks chipped in with 12 points.

For Slovakia, Peter Sedmák finished with 17 points while Peter Simek and Martin Bilik had 12 points apiece in a losing effort.



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