Final Round Joy For Flawless Latvia


7. Elina Babkina (Latvia), 11. Aija Putnina (Latvia)
Elina Babkina and Aija Putnina led Latvia with 15 and 16 points, respectively

A fifth successive triumph in the EuroBasket Women 2015 2nd Qualification Round handed joyous Latvia a place at next year's Final Round after they attained an 82-60 success in the Baltic derby against Estonia.

Having beaten their neighbours on the road, Ainars Zvirgzdins masterminded a win on home soil although it was perhaps more intense and hard-fought than the final margin suggested.

In a keenly contested encounter, there had been very little daylight between both teams for much of the first phase of the game.

Even when Latvia manoeuvred their way into a double-digit lead at 35-23 via a long-range basket from Aija Putnina, Estonia hit back with eight unanswered points heading to the break.

The third quarter was when things unravelled for the visitors as Latvia began to slowly assert control.

Having established a 13-point advantage by the end of the third quarter, some excellent defence in the last ten minutes extinguished any fears of a late comeback by Estonia.

Latvia gave up only four points in almost seven minutes and that slammed the door shut on their opponents.

Zenta Melnika grabbed the limelight with an efficient 14 points and seven rebounds, with Elina Babkina and Putnina adding a combined 31 points.

Viive Kai-Rebane was the only Estonian to reach double digits with a fine 17 points, while Pirgit Puu continued to impress with eight assists.


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