Group D: France Top Serbia, Latvia Win


Latvia opened the Omnitel U16 European Championship with an 80-60 victory over Ukraine in the opening game of Group D.
After a close first half the Latvians took over the happenings and with a 20-6 last quarter result secured a key win.

Kaspars Vecvagars led Latvia with 33 points, 14 rebounds and six assists and was joined by Klavs Strazdins who had 19 points, seven rebounds and four assists.

Klym Artamonov led the losing side with 13 points, six assists an five boards, Bogdan Korniyets added 12 points and four rebounds.

The two teams went neck to neck in the first quarter until the buzzer separated them by three points, 18-15 in favor of Latvia.

Vecvagars combined a three points play with an assists to push his team to a ten point difference, 32-22, before Ukraine wrote a 14-0 run to cap the first half with a 36-32 surprising lead.

Coming off the break Vecvagars was just about everywhere.

He picked up two quick three balls on his way to a great scoring performance in the second half of 24 points.

Strazdins joined in with a three ball of his own as Latvia climbed to 56-47 with two minutes to play in the third.

Ukraine still cut the lead down to four in the first play of the last quarter, but then felt an aching 20-4 run until the buzzer, which included just a single field goal.

Latvia will take on France tomorrow while Ukraine will seek for a win against the Serbian team.

Invernizzi Lifts France

France earned a big win to start the Omnitel U16 European Championship on the right foot, behind an 87-74 victory over Serbia in Group D.

Hugo Invernizzi was on fire tonight with 34 points and nine rebounds but the highlight of his performance was nine made three pointers in 11 attempts. Point guard Ulysse Adjagba added 14 and William Howard added 13.

Nenad Miljenovic led Serbia with 20 points, six assists and six rebounds, Nikola Pavlovic  added 13 while Aleksandar Cvetkovic added 12 with five assists.

Invernizzi nailed three long distance bombs already in the first quarter, but kept the main dish to the closing one when he hit four more to secure the French win.

He actually scored more three-pointers than the entire team of Serbia, who settled for no more than seven in 26%.

France surfed on Invernizzi's wave and hit a total of five three balls in the first quarter, but Serbia was strong in the game and behind just by five, 24-19, after ten minutes.

Miljenovic connected good plays for Serbia, but France scored the closing six points of the half to take a 41-33 half time lead.

France maintained a seven to 11 point margin throughout the entire third quarter, before Miljenovic carried his team on a 9-0 run and cut the margin to two, 60-58, with nine minutes to play.

Invernizzi popped up again with a couple of bombs, yet Serbia fought back and with four minutes on the clock were two points behind again.

Once again Invernizzi  was on the spot to connect two hits in a row from distance, push France to a nine point lead and lock the French win.

France will take on Latvia tomorrow while Serbia will seek for their debut victory in their match-up with Ukraine.

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