Latvia Defeat Slovenia To Go Through

19.07.2011

U20 European Championship

Latvia clinched a spot in the Quarter-Finals of the championship after an 89-84 victory over Slovenia in Group E on Tuesday evening.

This result completes the list of qualifiers from the group to the next stage as Latvia took a 2-2 record, tied with Montenegro.

Slovenia fell to 0-4, tied with Sweden, and with one more game to play in this round, can't catch up to the fourth spot.

The four qualifiers are France, Russia -who hold a perfect record- next to Montenegro and Latvia with a 2-2 record.

Their final standings will be decided tomorrow as each pair will meet to battle for the first and third spots.



Mareks Mejeris was in top shape for Latvia with 20 points, 11 rebounds while Martins Meiers added 18 points, nine boards and four blocks. Ugis Pinete reached double-figures for the first time in the best timing and collected 17 points and five assists.

Klemen Prepelic had 17 points for the losing side while Alen Omic had 16 and Jan Span 12 with five assists.

Latvia saw Slovenia come back to the game in the third quarter and put their spot in the next round in danger, but a strong finish didn't leave a chance to Slovenia that will go play in the 9-12 Classification Round with Sweden and two more teams from the parallel group.

Mejeris scored seven points in a row to close the first period and put Latvia above 21-13, but Span and Omic made it just a 33-31 game with 3:45 to play until the break.

Now it was Meiers who took over and with six points in a row created a 10 points gap before Prepelic scored from half court to make it 44-37 at the half time stoppage.

Omic and Edu Muric were in charge for Slovenia's late third quarter run that changed the face of the leader, and inside the last nine minutes of the game their team had a 65-70 lead.

With less than five minutes to play Slovenia still had the upper hand but Mejeris once again scored seven in a row and ignited a 16-0 run that put Latvia on top, this time for good, all the way to the top eight of the championship.



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