Kristaps Porzingis flew high above Bulgaria on Thursday to light up the highlights reel
Host nation Latvia brushed aside Bulgaria to claim a Group C win on the opening day of the U18 European Championship, wowing the home crowd with a dominant 85-57 win.
The Latvian team brought the home crowd to its feet late in the blowout with a number of highlight plays, but it was the play of double-double centers Anzejs Pasecniks and Kristaps Porzingis that enabled the home side to dominate the game.
Latvia used its significant height advantage to beat down Bulgaria's undersized frontcourt and as a result, dominated the related statistical categories, including winning the rebounding battle 58-36, dominating second-chance points 28-6, and scoring 56 points in the paint to Bulgaria's 28.
Aleksandar Vezenkov did his best to keep Bulgaria in the contest by scoring a game-high 24 points and grabbing 16 rebounds. The small forward helped his side fight back from a large early deficit to come within four points at first quarter-time, at one point having scored 21 of his team's 37 points, but as his point tally dried up so too did Bulgaria's ability to stay competitive.
Pasecniks collected an efficient 16-point, 11-rebound game in just 21 minutes of action while Porzingis tallied 15 points and 11 rebounds. Shooting guard Davis Geks added 11 points and six assists.