Serbia has been crowned the 2018 FIBA U18 European Champions after downing Latvia 99-90 in the finals. This is another remarkable feather that Serbian Basketball can put in their caps, as the organization now boasts of being back-to-back winners of the gold.
The Serbians made use of their size advantage to the fullest and punished their hosts in the paint. Marko Pecarski dropped a big double-double on Latvia with 34 points and 13 boards. He was near-unstoppable as he scored at-will, making 12-of-20 shots from the field (11-of-16 from 2-point range). He and Filip Petrusev, who ended the night with 29 points and eight rebounds, paved the way for Serbia’s victory.
Arturs Zagars and Valters Veveris paced the Latvian squad with 26 and 20 points, respectively. Zagars, especially, was noteworthy in this game because of the excellent job he did in quarterbacking his team’s offense throughout the game. He finished with 11 assists, making sure a solid team-effort was put up by the first-time finalists. Despite the disappointing loss, expect Latvia to come back strong next year as they work to improve on what they’ve managed to build on in 2018 as far as teamwork and learning the game goes.
Here are a few highlights from the game: