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Group:  F | 10.08.2014, 18:00h
Group:  F | 10.08.2014, 18:00h
50-62
14 - 2116 - 1510 - 1310 - 13
14 - 2116 - 1510 - 1310 - 13
Venue: Luleå (SWE) |
Spectators: 1636 |
Referees: Neil Wilkinson (ENG), Luis Lopes (POR), Marcin Kowalski (POL)

GAME REPORT


Latvia Stifle Sweden On The Road

14. Kaspars Berzins (Latvia), 14. Jonas Valanciunas (Lithuania)
Kaspars Berzins (right) finished just shy of a double-double on Sunday

Latvia produced a solid defensive display on Sunday and claimed a 62-50 win against Sweden on the road, in the opening clash of Group F in the EuroBasket 2015 2nd Qualifying Round.

On the offensive end, the Latvians attempted almost as many shots from beyond the arc as two-pointers, but with good reason, as they went 10-for-25 from downtown and 8-for-26 from close range.

Sweden on the other hand did not pose any threat from long range (one-for-eight three-pointers) and scored 26 of their 50 points close to the rim.

Latvia made their intentions clear from the start but did not gain a significant lead until midway through the second quarter.

With 6:41 remaining in the second frame, Ronalds Zakis dunked, drew the foul and made his free-throw to cap off a 12-0 Latvian run and bring the guests ahead 30-14.

Sweden decided to tighten the screws on defence to give the Latvians a taste of their own medicine and it produced results as Tobias Borg, with a lay-up with 7:56 left to play in the third period, reduced the gap to 36-34.

Kristaps Janicenoks and Janis Blums however swiftly drilled back-to-back triples to clip the wings of the hosts and then Latvia used a 10-1 burst at the beginning of the final frame to put the game beyond the reach of the Swedes, 59-41 with 5:38 left on the clock.

Kaspars Berzins paced the winners with 14 points and nine rebounds while Blums and Dairis Bertans picked their shots carefully and contributed 13 points each for the winners.

Borg was the only Swede to score in double digits and he finished with 11 points in a losing effort.

COACH QUOTES


Quotes: Sweden vs. Latvia

Vedran Bosnic, Sweden Head Coach
"We did some things good and some things bad. We played even in turnovers, lost the rebounding by a couple, but to win against a top team like Latvia we need to have less than ten turnovers. We need to stay focused, we need to keep our aggressiveness and energy up to keep playing defence. We had our chances, but when Latvia made two tough three-pointers early in the fourth quarter, it became easier for Latvia to breathe, they relaxed and played well. We came back two times, but against a team like Latvia it's difficult to come back a third time."

Thomas Massamba Sweden
"Congratulations to Latvia, they're a very good team who played with patience. I think we played OK, but we made some mistakes that Latvia took advantage of, and Latvia didn't make those kind of mistakes. Our defence is good, to keep a team like Latvia to 62 points is fine, now we need to get our legs back and get our offence going.

Ainars Bagatskis Latvia Head Coach
"I was a bit worried before the game, this is a completely different Sweden than in Eurobasket 2013. We saw in the preparation games that Sweden plays aggressively and with great energy. With aggressiveness and energy you can make up for a lot of things, so the most important thing for us was patience. Nothing in basketball comes quick or easy. We lost a big lead because it looked like we started to think about other things. When we made a couple of important three-pointers in the third quarter we played better and more focused. Sweden played well and I'm happy with the win."

Janis Blums, Latvia
"Even though we won I want to congratulate Sweden. They played hard, they played very good defence and played with energy and heart. They made it very difficult for us. This was an important win for us, the first game is always important. Now we play again in three days, so we need to re-focus and prepare for that game."

Top performers

Accumulated statistics

36.5%

19/52
FG
M/A

35.3%

18/51

40.9%

18/44
FG2P
M/A

30.8%

8/26

12.5%

1/8
FG3P
M/A

40.0%

10/25

61.1%

11/18
FT
M/A

69.6%

16/23

34

7/27
RT
RO/RD

38

8/30

8

AS

9

14

TO

14

6

ST

5

1

BS

3

25

PF

22

50

Pts

62

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