|03 July 2009|
Latvia survived a late comeback from Belgium to clinch a 64-61 triumph on the second day of the U18 European Championship for Women.
Leading 63-57 with 30 seconds remaining, Latvia star Sabine Niedola saved the ball from going out of bounds but threw it into the hands of Belgian Jan Raman and she made an easy lay-up.
Belgium's Noemie Mayombo made two free-throws to cut the deficit
to 63-61 with five seconds to go.
Belgium then put Niedola on the line and she split two free throws.
The Belgians rebounded, Silke Storme's desperation three-ball only managed to hit the backboard.
"The important thing is that we got our second straight victory," said Niedola, who had a game-high 17 points and pulled down 10 rebounds.
"We didn't play as well as we could have, we made mistakes in the final minutes but fortunately, we got the win."
The Baltic side also had a big contribution from Kirstine Vitola, who finished with 15 points and got 11 of her 15 rebounds in the first half.
Latvia were superior shooting the ball from behind the arc. They finished eight of 15 (53.3%) while their opponents were five of 29 (17.2%).
In the other group game, Spain blew out Turkey in the first half and stormed to a 92-45 victory. Leading 48-29 at the break, Turkey's faint hopes of a comeback died when the Spaniards held them to just seven points in the third quarter. Vega Gimeno led the way for the Spanish women with 16 points.
Spain outrebounded Turkey 63-34.