22 November, 2021
28 February, 2023
12 Arturs Strautins (LAT)
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Latvia beat Greece again to finish with 11 straight wins, Turkey see off Belgium

MUNICH (Germany) - Latvia finished their impressive FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 European Qualifiers campaign in fine fashion with an 11th consecutive victory, while Turkey showed what they can do by routing Belgium.

It was not to be for Belgium as Serbia's victory over Great Britain in the other game in Group I ended their hopes of reaching the World Cup.

Group I

18/18 games played

# Team P W L % For Agt +/- FA AA  
1 LAT Latvia(1) (2) 10 9 1 90.0 807 707 100 80.7 70.7 19
2 SRB Serbia(2) 10 6 4 60.0 825 803 22 82.5 80.3 16
3 GRE Greece(1) 10 6 4 60.0 775 764 11 77.5 76.4 16
4 TUR Turkey 10 4 6 40.0 782 742 40 78.2 74.2 14
5 BEL Belgium(2) 10 4 6 40.0 679 717 -38 67.9 71.7 14
6 GBR Great Britain 10 1 9 10.0 697 832 -135 69.7 83.2 11

Balanced Latvia finish Qualifiers with 11 straight wins

Latvia proved too strong for Greece as the Group I winners claimed a 67-57 triumph at home for a 9-1 record. Toms Leimanis collected 11 points and 8 assists, while Arturs Strautins scored 11 points and Dairis Bertans chipped in 10 points.

The hosts had the stronger start to the game and opened an 18-8 lead after 10 minutes. The cushion grew to 21-9 for the hosts before Greece slowly got back into the game. And Latvia's lead was cut to just 33-32 at intermission.

Greece nosed ahead at 35-34 in the opening moments of the second half but Latvia answered with a 16-3 run to reclaim a 12-point advantage to make it 50-38. The visitors fought back and pulled within two points, only for Latvia to finish strong with Rodions Kurucs' jumper making it 65-57 with little over a minute to go.

Emmanouil Chatzidakis scored 9 points to lead Greece, who finished the Qualifiers with a 6-4 mark with both sides already assured of their World Cup spots ahead of this final window.

Turkey close European Qualifiers on high note

Dogus Ozdemiroglu

Turkey wrapped up their European Qualifiers campaign on a high note as they defeated Belgium 82-54 on the road.

The Belgians were hoping that Great Britain could shock Serbia and then defeat Turkey to book their ticket to the World Cup. But neither result ended up going in Belgium's favor as Serbia won 101-83 at home for the last spot from Group I for the FIBA flagship event.

Turkey, who were already eliminated coming into the window, delivered the first punch with a 11-2 run to lead 15-7 and the gap was 19-9 in the opening frame, which ended with Belgium down 22-14. Turkey extended the lead to 26-14 and Belgium could only get as close as seven points, trailing 45-31 at the break.

Turkey did not slow down and never let Belgium back into the game. The hosts trimmed it to 12 points early in the second half but Turkey were up by 21 points with 3 minutes left in the third. Both teams finished with 4-6 records in the group.

Dogus Ozdemiroglu poured in 19 points with 9 rebounds, Ercan Osmani had 15 points and Sehmus Hazer picked up 13 points.