Second Half Lifts Latvia Over Romania

17 August 2014
Janis Blums (Latvia)
Janis Blums used his veteran know-all to guide Latvia home on Sunday night

A superb second-half display by hosts Latvia broke open a contest between previously unbeaten teams in Group F of the EuroBasket 2015 2nd Qualifying Round and gifted the Baltic team an 88-65 win against Romania on Sunday.

Latvia are now the lone leaders of the group with three wins in as many games and Romania have dropped to 2-1, while Sweden stand at 1-2 and Slovakia are yet to tick the victory column.

While Latvia had held a slim lead over the guests from the start, the clash seemed destined for a tight finish until early in the third quarter.

The hosts were leading 43-42 with 6:51 remaining in the period when Janis Blums decided it was time for Latvia to gain some breathing space.

The veteran guard drilled back-to-back triples and sparked a 13-0 run which he capped off with another three-point shot, 3:28 from the third buzzer.

Romania tried to react but Rolands Freimanis hit another triple, with just two seconds left in the third, to make sure Latvia would go into the final frame with a 65-53 cushion.

Freimanis again scored the first two baskets in the final frame and Mareks Mejeris dunked on the fast break to make it 71-53 with only 7:17 on the clock and effectively seal Latvia's win.

Blums finished with 17 points on six-for-nine from the floor, Janis Strelnieks collected 12 points and six assists and Fremanis chipped in with 11 points for the winners.

For Romania, big man Vlad Moldoveanu finished with 17 points and Mihai Silvasan added 13 points in defeat.




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