Hosts Latvia Wow Home Fans With Big Win

18 July 2013
6. Kristaps Porzingis (Latvia), 7. Aleksandar Vezenkov (Bulgaria)
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.



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