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HomeSportsFiba World Cup: Latvia bounces back, squeaks past Italy in classification

Fiba World Cup: Latvia bounces back, squeaks past Italy in classification

Andrejs Grazulis Latvia Fiba World Cup

Andrejs Grazulis and Latvia throughout a classification sport towards Italy within the Fiba World Cup at Mall of Asia Enviornment. -MARLO CUETO/INQUIRER.internet

MANILA, Philippines—It gained’t be back-to-back days of heartbreak for Latvia because it moved on to the battle for fifth spot within the 2023 Fiba World Cup at Mall of Asia Enviornment on Thursday.

After swallowing a bitter tablet following an in depth loss to Germany on Wednesday, the Latvians rebounded with an 87-82 win over Italy in one other nailbiter.

“That is what we would like. After yesterday, we need to be fifth and struggle to be a prime 5 crew on this planet. We simply stored preventing and it occurred,” mentioned ahead Rodions Kurucs.

“It was exhausting within the first half as a result of yesterday we had simply 10-12 hours of relaxation, in all probability. It was actually exhausting however within the second half we bought to the locker room and determined to come back again with a brand new vitality and we simply bounced again.”

Andrejs Grazulis hit the dagger triple that set the ultimate rely with 24 seconds remaining after Italy went on a 13-5 run to wipe out a 10-point deficit within the fourth quarter.

Grazulis fired 28 factors on a 12-of-13 capturing clip to energy the Latvians, who shot a scorching 59 % from the sphere.

Kurucs mentioned the presence of NBA star heart Kristaps Porzingis regardless of his damage was a giant increase for Latvia all through the match.

“Him being here’s a motivation for us. Seeing him supporting us all through the entire match, it’s an unbelievable feeling,” he mentioned after ending with 4 factors, three assists and three steals.

Davis Bertans Latvia Fiba World Cup

Latvia’s Davis Bertans. -MARLO CUETO/INQUIRER.internet

Italy, which bought crushed by Group USA within the quarterfinal two nights in the past, missed the providers of Utah Jazz swingman Simone Fontecchio.

Luigi Datome led the Azzurri with 20 factors whereas Marco Spissu, who drained a 3-pointer to tug the Italians inside two, 82-84, with 41 ticks to go, had 10 factors and 7 assists.

Apart from Grazulis, Aigars Skele additionally shone with 12 factors and 9 rebounds for Latvia whereas Arturs Zagars added 10 factors and 6 assists.

Latvia takes on the winner between Slovenia and Lithuania for fifth place.

“I’ll take any of them as a result of we misplaced to each of them in our preparation tournaments, so I’ll take both of them. They’re each good groups and it’ll be battle. We’ll give them struggle,” mentioned Kurucs.

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