25 August, 2023
10 September
QF Previews
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Quarter-Final Preview: Germany look to end Latvia's fairytale run

MANILA (Philippines) - The storyline of the Germany vs Latvia showdown in the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 Quarter-Finals is clear and simple: can the darkhorse title contenders end Latvia's fairytale run.

Germany finished third at the FIBA EuroBasket 2022 and the undefeated team will be hungry to reach the World Cup Semi-Finals for the second time following 2002 when they took third place for their only World Cup podium. Dirk Nowitzki was leading the team back then and was elected MVP of the competition.

Latvia just keep making history in their maiden World Cup appearance, having already shocked heavy favorites France and Spain en route to the Quarter-Finals. They have clearly less individual talent than Germany but this team play with a system, with faith, and has the best off-the-ball team movement in the tournament.

Tip-off Wednesday at the Mall of Asia Arena is at 10:45 CET (16:45 local time) with the second all-European top-eight showing.


Key Matchup: Dennis Schroder has been one of the best players - maybe the best so far - at the World Cup and he is clearly Germany's leader. If Latvia can slow down Dennis, that is at least a start in slowing down Germany. One of the main guys who will be responsible for that is Latvian guard Arturs Zagars.


The 23-year-old will also be challenged to get the Latvian offense moving while facing Schroder. Zagars and Schroder actually have an interesting connection. The Latvian used to play for German club Basketball Lowen Braunschweig, which is owned by Schroder. It's now time to challenge his former boss!

X-Factor: Germany already have been a great team in the World Cup, but there is a chance they get even better as Franz Wagner is close to returning from his ankle injury. The NBA star played just one game so far and totaled 10 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists. If Wagner cannot go, then Isaac Bonga will probably continue to be called upon to take more responsibility as a perimeter defender.

Isaac Bonga

Stats Don't Lie: Latvia are the tournament's fourth best three-point shooting team at 40.2 percent, having made the most threes during the tournament - 66 or 13.2 per game, topped by 18 triples against Lebanon. Germany are not far behind at 39.1 percent and 12.6 per game, including 20 three-pointers against Georgia.


Also, both teams do a good job taking care of the ball, ranking tied for third (Latvia 10.4) and fifth (Germany 10.6) in the fewest turnovers. Germany, however, rank third for the most steals with 9.6 per game.

Past Matchup: This is the first World Cup matchup between these teams, who have squared off five times on the continental level. Germany hold a 3-2 advantage, including winning the last game 81-80 at the FIBA EuroBasket 2011.

They Said: "That is a big surprise but (Latvia) play very good basketball. They play hard and play very good European basketball. They have beaten good teams like France and Spain, so you have to give them credit." - Germany coach Gordon Herbert

"We're not a team that is under pressure. Theoretically, pressure hasn't been on us in any game, expect against Lebanon. That doesn't mean we'll stop fighting. We continue forward with the same mindset - to win every game." - Latvia forward Davis Bertans


Here are more features written about Germany:
Schroder takes this round of Dennis vs Doncic duel
Where does Germany's 20 three-pointers made rank all-time in the World Cup?
Dennis Schroder eager to write history in promising World Cup run

Here are more features written about Latvia:
FIBA Baltic World Cup 2023: "Those are our brothers"
Latvia's dream run continues as they advance to the last eight
The five anonymous Latvians who just beat your favorite superstars
Funky numbers: Why Latvia are now the odds-on favorites to win the World Cup
The reaction: 'The biggest win in Latvian basketball history since 1935'
The Bertans brothers living the Latvian World Cup dream