|Simone Fontecchio had 28 points for Italy including the game-winner|
A game-winning lay-up by Simone Fontecchio enabled Italy to top U18 European Championship hosts Latvia 70-69 in Liepaja on Saturday.
The host nation's first loss of the tournament means Spain claims first spot in Group C's three-way tie while Latvia and Italy take the second and third positions respectively.
Point guard Tommaso Laquintana scored all of his nine points early in the final quarter to erase a seven-point three-quarter time deficit before Fontecchio converted the winning attempt.
In an outstanding game for the small forward, Fontecchio scored 28 points and collected eight rebounds.
Italy had no trouble dealing with Latvia's huge front court early on as Fontecchio errupted for a 14-point first quarter, but behind the solid pairing of Armands Ginters and Anzejs Pasecniks, who had 17 and 16 points respectively, Latvia was able to get back into the contest with a strong third quarter and go up by seven (58-51) when the period came to an end.
The lead jumped to as much as nine in the last 10 minutes but Italy's aggressive approach towards Latvia's big men allowed them to fight back for the win.