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Tiebreaker Times

2023 FIBA World Cup

Latvia boots out Brazil, advances to FIBA WC QF

Latvia secured its ticket to Manila by defeating the underdog team Brazil, advancing to the final phase of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 with a score of 104-84 on Sunday at the Indonesia Arena in Jakarta.

In their inaugural World Cup appearance, Latvijas Basketbola Izlase concluded their Jakarta campaign with a 4-1 record before the Round of 8. This victory also marked Latvia’s first international encounter against the Cariocas.

After an intense first half, Latvia pulled ahead of Brazil with a decisive 21-6 run, ending the third quarter with an 18-point lead at 81-63.

Starting with a three-point lead at 60-57, Latvijas Basketbola Izlase began a crucial run, boosted by a five-point swing from Oklahoma City Thunder forward Davis Bertans and an and-one triple by Kristers Zoriks, extending their advantage to 12 at 69-57.

Maintaining their insurmountable lead, Latvia dominated the final quarter, highlighted by a three-pointer and a floater from Andrjes Grazulis, along with contributions from Arturs Zagars at the charity stripe, propelling them to their largest lead of the game at 98-72.

Latvijas Basketbola Izlase capitalized on the Cariocas’ mistakes, amassing 18 points from their turnovers, while relying on their bench players who contributed 52 of their total 104 points in the game.

“I’m very happy and proud of the guys. Speaking about the game, it’s nice that we finished this part of the tournament in Jakarta with such a performance to confirm that we’re moving in the right direction,” said Latvia head coach Luca Banchi.

Latvian standout Grazulis scored 24 points, grabbed five rebounds, dished out three assists, and recorded two steals with a 73-percent shooting accuracy. Zagars and Bertans added 17 and 14 points, respectively.

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Despite Bruno Caboclo’s 20 points and seven rebounds and Yago Santos’ 14-point performance, Brazil fell short of advancing to the knockout stage.

The Cariocas concluded their journey in the global showcase with a 3-2 record.

Latvia will await the outcome of the match between Canada and Spain to determine their seeding for the quarterfinals on Wednesday, September 6, at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay. (Ernest Martin Tuazon)

The Scores:

Latvia (104) – Grazulis 24, Zagars 17, Bertans 14, A. Kurucs 12, Smits 10, Zoriks 9, R. Kurucs 7, Strautins 7, Skele 4, Cavars 0

Brazil (84) – Caboclo 20, Y. Santos 14, Dias 13, Meindl 9, G. Santos 9, Soares 7, De Paula 4, Felicio 4, Huertas 4

Quarterscores: 22-20, 45-42, 81-63, 104-84

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