Belgium beats Latvia at Euro Champs
September 15, 2013
By The Associated Press
LJUBLJANA, Slovenia (AP) - Sacha Massot had a key block and a dunk late in the game to help give Belgium a 60-56 victory over Latvia on Sunday that sent Ukraine into the quarterfinals of the European basketball championship.
Ukraine lost 70-63 to Lithuania in a later game. Latvia needed to win and have Lithuania beat Ukraine to advance.
Ukraine joins France, Serbia and Lithuania in advancing from Group E. Croatia, Slovenia and Italy have already advanced from Group F, which ends play Monday.
Massot led Belgium with 14 points, four rebounds and three blocks. He blocked a Janis Blums layup and then dunked for a 59-56 lead that completed a 9-0 Belgium run. Dairis Bertans missed a 3-point attempt and Wen Mukubu made one of two free throws to complete the scoring.
Latvia, which shot 29 percent from the field, had a chance to win late despite trailing most of the game. But Rolands Freimanis, who finished with 10 points, botched an alley-oop attempt. Latvia got the ball back with Axel Hervelle's turnover but Massot blocked a drive by Blums.
Latvia made only 5 of 29 3-point attempts despite relying on long-range shooting as its biggest weapon. Mukubu had 13 points and Hervelle added 10 and seven rebounds in Belgium's only second-round win.
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