Martin Ziberts is back after a year absence from a FIBA Europe European Championship.
His success rate with the 1990 generation has been good: in 2006 he coached the Latvian U16 team to promotion as runners up to Sweden. In 2008, he again won promotion with this generation of players this time as champions in the U18 category.
He returns once again with this age group, but as coach of Division A hosts of the U20 European Championship.
Sabine Niedola (pictured left) who will be coming to play in France next season and Anete Steinberga (pictured right) are just two players from the Latvian team that have played for Zibert in these promotion years during youth competition.
Niedola who hails from Liepaja, the venue of the championships, scored a game high 29 points and collected 11 rebounds in 26 minutes of action as Latvia blew away Sweden (87-41).
The game was over as a contest by the interval with Latvia leading (40-11).
Kristine Vitola was the only other player in double digits for the hosts with 10 points and also 11 rebounds.
Beata Gullberg led the Swedish attack with 16 points.
In the other game from Group B, Russia beat Ukraine (79-74). The lead changed hands 11 times during the game. An 11-1 run during the final quarter finally swung the match in the Russian favour.
Anastasiya Shilova was the match winner for Russia with 23 points, while for Ukraine Alina Iagupov poured in 22 points.
Olesia Malashenko who plays in France with Arras had 12 points and 12 rebounds for Ukraine.
France U20 basketball and FIBA Europe
Bulgaria had lost against France in Bourg-en-Bresse and ended their summer preparation in a 3-0 defeat to Great Britain.
So it came as little surprise that France took control early (24-12) by the end of the first quarter. Alain Jardel decided to turn his bench early and did not play anybody longer than 22 minutes in the victory (73-51).
Laurie Datchy (right) led the French attack with 16 points as her side climbed their first obstacle in their quest to defend their title.
The Dutch, making their first appearance in this division gave Poland a scare as they raced out to a (16-8) lead during the first quarter.
However they were unable to stretch their advantage and led by as many as 8 points during the second quarter.
Poland put together a 13-2 run to go into the locker room leading (37-35). The Netherlands struggled offensively after the break and allowed Poland to lead for the rest of the game and stroll to victory (72-57).
All the results from day 1:
Bulgaria 51-73 France Netherlands 57-72 Poland Ukraine 74-79 Russia Latvia 87-41 Sweden Germany 63-80 Serbia Italy 50-74 Spain Belarus 56-74 Lithuania Romania 53-69 Turkey