Group D: Italy Breeze Past Georgia, Bulgaria Top Latvia

07.07.2007

Co-hosts Italy breezed to a 2-0 record at the U20 European Championship Men with a 94-56 victory against Georgia to grab control of Group D in Gorizia.

Luigi Da Tome scored 17 of his game-high 21 points in the first half with Daniel Lorenzo Hackett adding 17 for Pino Sacripanti's team.

The Italians shot 52% for the game and forced Georgia into 22 turnovers, while also out-rebounding the eastern Europeans 45-15 and holding them to 30% shooting.

Georgia, who are now 1-1, were led by Giorgi Shermadini and Mikhail Chochua with 12 points each.

The teams were tied at 15-15 after the first period. But the Italian defence stymied the Georgians into 13 first-half turnovers in opening a 49-33 lead going into the break - with runs of 8-0 and 9-0 spearheading the charge.

A 24-3 run to start the third quarter laid all doubts to rest for a 63-39 lead midway through the period, which ended with Italy leading 69-42.

And Sacripanti's side finished off Georgia with an 18-3 to start the fourth.

In the group's first match, Ivan Lilov scored 29 points in leading Bulgaria to a 96-89 victory over Latvia to improve to 1-1 while the Baltic nation dropped to 0-2.

Bulgaria went on an 18-4 run spanning the third and fourth quarters to opened a 76-63 lead midway through the fourth. Latvia - led by Ronalds Zakis's 30 points and Rihards Kuksiks's 20 - evened things at 81-81.

But Bulgaria, who also received 17 points from Chavdar Kostov and 16 from Nikolay Kolev, finished the game on an 11-4 run to claim victory.

Bulgaria face Georgia on Sunday while Latvia go for their first victory against the co-hosts Italy.

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