Turkey Prove Too Much For Latvia

01 August 2014

U18 MEN

10. Furkan Korkmaz (Turkey)
Furkan Korkmaz led all scorers with 22 points

Turning Point: Latvia finished the first half strong and trailed 39-30 but Turkey took control of the game at the start of the third quarter with a 13-4 run to open a 52-34 lead.

Game Hero: Okben Ulubay collected six points, eight rebounds, three assists, one steal and three blocks for the winning Turks.

Stats Don't Lie: Turkey won the rebounding battle 55 to 35. Turkey had 16 fast break points to zero for Latvia and 11 points off turnovers to just two for Latvia. Turkey also had 22 second-chance points to seven for Latvia.

The Bottom Line: Turkey reached their third semi-final in the last four years, winning the title in 2013 and taking bronze in 2011. The host team, who qualified for the 2015 FIBA U19 World Championship with the victory, will next play undefeated Croatia. Latvia still have a chance to reach the U19 Worlds with a win over Spain.

Reigning champions Turkey became the fourth team to reach the semi-finals of the U18 European Championship as the hosts cruised past Latvia 78-53 to set up a last four showdown with undefeated Croatia.

Furkan Korkmaz led Turkey in scoring with 22 points while Egemen Güven had 17 points and six rebounds.

Latvia got 12 points, seven rebounds and two blocks from Rinalds Malmanis while David Cima scored 14. Latvia's leading scorer coming into the game, Rihards Lomazs, was held to just three points, 11.7 points below his average.  

Latvia started the game well and found themselves up 9-4 after five minutes as Turkey struggled to find their rhythm offensively with the Latvian cushion as many as six at 12-6 after a Cima three-ball.

But Tolga Gecim nailed a three-ball, Güven converted a nice hook shot and Korkmaz knocked down a trey in a 10-2 Turkey run for a 16-14 lead. The margin was 20-16 after one quarter.

A trey by Ervins Meznieks trimmed the deficit to 22-19 and a Cima three had the Baltic side as close as 28-24. Korkmaz sparked a push that got the advantage back to 11 points at 37-26 before Malmanis scored four points to make it 37-30. The teams went into the break with Turkey ahead 39-30.

Ege Arar and Güven combined for nine points as Turkey came out of the locker room with a 13-4 run for a 52-34 cushion. Latvia closed the third quarter with a 6-2 run but still trailed 59-45.

Turkey scored the first seven points of the fourth quarter for a 66-45 lead and Latvia finally got on the board in the quarter with a three-ball by Cima after more than four minutes. The Baltic side did not get closer than 16 points the rest of the way.

 


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