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Pinoy Box Break

Latvia Stuns Spain with Fourth Quarter Comeback at FIBA World Cup 2023

by | Posted on: September 2nd, 2023 | No Comments | Sports

In a thrilling showdown at the FIBA World Cup 2023, Latvia exhibited remarkable resilience, staging an incredible fourth-quarter comeback against the reigning world champions, Spain. The final scoreline of 74-69 in favor of Latvia left the basketball world buzzing, as they showcased their determination and grit in an intense battle.

The game was a defensive slugfest right from the opening tip-off, with Latvia putting forth a valiant effort to keep their hopes of advancing to the Quarter-Finals alive. However, Spain initially held an 11-point lead, and the odds seemed stacked against the Baltic nation.

But just when it appeared that Latvia might be on the verge of defeat, they mounted an astonishing resurgence within a span of less than five minutes in the fourth quarter. This spirited rally saw them erase Spain’s lead and surge ahead to a score of 65-63, causing considerable upheaval in Group L.

Latvia’s Davis Bertans played a pivotal role in this comeback, hitting a clutch three-pointer and contributing 16 points, 3 rebounds, and an impressive 33 minutes and 59 seconds on the court, marking the highest playing time on his team.

Willy Hernangomez, renowned for his robust style of play in the paint, was Spain’s standout performer with 14 points and 4 rebounds, along with converting 6-of-11 shots from the free-throw line.

What set Latvia apart in this crucial match was their depth, as five different Latvian players managed to score in double digits. In contrast, Spain’s offense struggled to find its rhythm, with most of their consistent scoring coming from their big men, Willy Hernangomez (14 points) and Usman Garuba (11 points).

The win has catapulted Latvia into the spotlight, and they now eagerly anticipate a pivotal matchup against Brazil. The outcome of this game will significantly impact their chances of securing their first-ever Quarter-Finals appearance in their World Cup debut.

However, Spain, despite the setback, remains in control of their destiny as they prepare to face Canada. The 26-point deficit that Latvia carries from their loss against Canada could play a crucial role in determining the group’s outcome.

Spain’s head coach, Sergio Scariolo, acknowledged the team’s challenges, saying, “There was the usual issue of the short blanket. When we had to play defense, we were struggling on offense. When we had to play offense, we were struggling on defense. We need efficiency on both sides of the floor.”

Rudy Fernandez, a player for Spain, reflected on the match, stating, “Latvia played a very solid game and, obviously, played harder than us in the first half.”

Latvia’s head coach, Luca Banchi, expressed pride in his team’s performance, saying, “I’m really proud with the way we stayed in the game, despite the little moment where we shook as a team during the third period.”

Davis Bertans, who played a crucial role in Latvia’s victory, emphasized their collective approach, stating, “We really don’t care who is going to be the top scorer and who is going to take the most shots. We’re just gonna let the game come to us.”

Latvia’s thrilling win over Spain has set the stage for a dramatic conclusion to Group L at the FIBA World Cup 2023, with multiple teams vying for a spot in the Quarter-Finals. The competition remains fierce, and fans can’t wait to see how it all unfolds in this prestigious basketball tournament.