Perfect Latvia Break Romanian Hearts

27 August 2014

Janis Blums (Latvia)
Janis Blums led a balanced Latvian offence with 15 points

Latvia concluded their EuroBasket 2015 2nd Qualifying Round campaign on a 6-0 record after claiming an 82-70 road win over Romania, who are now left with minimal chances to qualify.

The Latvians finish in first place in Group F and Romania in second spot with a 4-2 record, but with a goal average that, midway through the conclusion of Day 6 action, is unfavourable compared to second-placed teams in the rest of the groups.

The two teams alternated dominant stretches during the first half and the half-time buzzer found the scores tied at 37.

Latvia returned after the break however with a renewed impetus on the defensive end, kept their hosts to just four points during the opening six minutes of the third quarter, and Dairis Bertans and Kristaps Janicenoks drilled consecutive triples to give the guests a 54-41 lead with 4:22 left to the third buzzer.

Romania showed some signs of a reaction with the start of the final frame and Mihail-Octavian Paul reduced the gap to 64-59 with 9:28 left on the clock, but that was as close as they would come.

The veteran Janis Blums sunk back-to-back three-pointers, the second with 6:57 remaining, to put Latvia ahead 72-59 and Romania had no energy left to dispute the result any longer.

Blums finished with 15 points while Bertans and Janis Strelnieks added 13 points apiece for the winners.

For Romania, Vlad Moldoveanu and Mihai Silvasan each collected a joint game-high 18 points in a losing effort.



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