Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Tiebreaker Times

2023 FIBA World Cup

FIBA: Latvia survives Italy’s furious rally, rises to battle for fifth

Coming off a heartbreaking loss against Germany, Latvia bounced back and advanced further to the classification round of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 with an 87-82 win over Italy, who were missing Simone Fontecchio, on Thursday at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.

Despite missing out on the semifinals, the Latvians continued to impress in their FIBA World Cup debut and secured a spot in the battle for fifth place, where they will face the winner of the Lithuania-Slovenia match on Saturday.

Andrejs Grazulis’ offensive efficiency was on full display as he scored a game-high 28 points, the highest for any Latvian player in a FIBA World Cup game. He also grabbed six rebounds during the contest.

The 30-year-old power forward converted 12 out of 13 shots, finishing the game with a 92-percent shooting percentage – the best field goal percentage for a player with 10 or more attempts in a FIBA game over the last 30 years.

Latvia fended off a late run from the Azzurri, with Stefano Tonut scoring a layup followed by a crucial three-pointer from Marco Spissu off an offensive rebound. This trimmed the Latvians’ seven-point advantage to just two, 84-82, with 41 seconds remaining.

“A good win despite the very short time we had to recover energy, both mentally and physically, after last night’s game with Germany,” said Latvia head coach Luca Banchi.

“It was nice to finally see the team perform as I was expecting. In the end, it was very tough and tight, but a good win that will give us the possibility to play in the final in the next game,” he added.

#ReadMore  Rae Lin D'Alie steers Italy to first World Cup

Aigars Skele added 12 points and nine boards for the Latvians, while Arturs Zagars and Davis Bertans contributed 10 and nine points, respectively.

On the other hand, the Azzurri, missing their top scorer Simone Fontecchio due to illness, were led by veteran forward Luigi Datome with a team-high 20 points.

Nicolo Melli delivered 11 points, nine rebounds, and four assists, while Tonut had nine markers along with three assists and two steals. Spissu chipped in 10 points, seven assists, and three boards.

Italy will head to the classification round, where they will take on either Slovenia or Lithuania on Saturday.

The Scores:

Latvia 87 – Grazulis 28, Skele 12, Zagars 10, Bertans Dav. 9, Kurucs A 9, Strautins 7, Smits 6, Kurucs R. 4, Zoriks 2.

Italy 82 – Datome 20, Melli 11, Tonut 11, Spissu 10, Ricci 8, Procida 8, Pajola 5, Polonara 4, Spagnolo 4, Diouf 1, Severini 0.

Quarterscores: 18-26; 46-42; 67-60; 87-82

Written By

You May Also Like

2024 Summer Olympics

In a bid to secure a coveted spot in the Paris Summer Olympics 2024, the Philippine national basketball team, Gilas Pilipinas, is gearing up...

2023 FIBA World Cup

Gilas Pilipinas Men have risen to 38th in the world rankings, just two spots higher despite their participation in the FIBA Basketball World Cup...

2023 FIBA World Cup

After leading Germany to its first-ever FIBA Basketball World Cup, Dennis Schroder was crowned as the best of the best in the FIBA Basketball...

2023 FIBA World Cup

Arturs Zagars rewrote the FIBA Basketball World Cup history books by helping Latvia finish fifth in its maiden campaign in the global tournament on...

2023 FIBA World Cup

After making an impression on NBA players, Artus Zagars has now etched his name into the FIBA Basketball World Cup record books. Zagars shone...

2023 FIBA World Cup

After exchanging pleasantries with players from Slovenia, Gigi Datome returned to his team’s side of the court and embraced his teammates one by one,...

2023 FIBA World Cup

Gianmarco Pozzecco left the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 as one of the tournament’s most colorful characters. The 50-year-old Italian head coach introduced himself...

2023 FIBA World Cup

Luka Doncic and Slovenia have received nothing but love from Filipino fans ever since their arrival in the Philippines. On Saturday evening, the Junaki,...