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22 November, 2021
28 February, 2023
00 Rodions Kurucs (LAT), 4 Milos Teodosic (SRB)
Game Report
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Serbia survive Lomazs, Latvia onslaught in Belgrade thriller

BELGRADE (Serbia) - Rihards Lomazs fired in 33 points including six of Latvia's 16 three-pointers, but it was still Serbia who were left celebrating at the end of a thrilling duel in Belgrade.

Svetislav Pesic oversaw his side's 101-100 triumph in a dramatic start to his reign with Serbia sealing victory in the closing seconds to start their quest towards the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023.

Turning point
: Latvia looked to be heading to a big victory as triple after triple rained down on the court in Belgrade, but the hosts stayed alive and overturned a 93-88 deficit with three minutes to go. Serbia took the lead inside the final minute and had another chance after Latvia leveled with Marko Jagodic-Kuridza sinking the decisive free throw for the win.

Game heroes: Milos Teodosic came off the bench with a typically instrumental performance to contribute an efficient 21 points along with 9 assists and was backed up by a string of valuable displays, including that of Aleksa Avramovic, who had 17 points, 7 assists, 5 rebounds and 3 steals.

Stats don't lie: The game was played at a frantic pace and both teams shot above 70-percent from inside the arc and in a game of small margins, Serbia out-rebounded their opponents 29-20 and had the edge on second chance points at 11-6. Latvia had the lead for over 25 minutes, but not when it counted as the final buzzer sounded.

Bottom line: Plenty to build from for both sides and Serbia will be mightily relieved to get off to a winning start. They will hope to avoid similar drama when they travel on the road to face Belgium on Sunday, while Latvia must put aside any disappointment and take the positives as they get ready to take on Slovakia on Monday.

They said: "We saw a game with intensity, with fight. I would like to congratulate both teams, because Latvia played an excellent game, played excellent basketball both on offense and defense. Our team showed attitude and aways believed that we can win the game. Moral attitude, team chemistry and team spirit are for me the most important aspects we have to develop not only for the next game against Belgium but before the next very important competition. Especially in the third quarter we showed how much we believed in this win, and for me that was the most important thing. Of course we can pay better on defense, there is no question about that, but Latvia was not a surprise, they have a lot of talent on offense." - Serbia head coach Svetislav Pesic

"We have to congratulate our opponents but I believe tonight our team also deserves congratulations and i think the fans also deserved to watch overtime. In a one-point game of course you can think of many details over 40 minutes that affect the game, but I really appreciate the way my team approached the game. We have been together for only a short time and have changed some things and there was little room for tactics tonight. This was a stage for the players and I think fans really enjoyed it. I appreciate the bravery and the personality of my team." - Latvia head coach Luca Banchi