Latvia's 24-man OQT squad

    Kristaps Porzingis is initially listed for the OQT back at home.

    RIGA (Latvia) - Kristaps Porzingis cheered for Latvia from the stands at last year's FIBA Basketball World Cup after getting hurt and being forced to the sidelines. He was on the preliminary 24-man list published by the latvian federation but the 28-year-old superstar got hurt during the NBA Finals and will undergo surgery. He will miss the OQT at home.

    The Baltic team will attempt to punch its ticket for the Summer Games for the first time since the 1936 Olympics and do so under Italian coach Luka Banchi, who has transformed the national side into a juggernaut since taking the reins in the European Qualifiers for the 2023 World Cup.

    Latvia 24-man squad for FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament Riga





    Artis Ate

    Dairis Bertans

    Davis Bertans

    Klavs Cavars

    Andrejs Grazulis

    Kriss Helmanis

    Arturs Kurucs

    Rodion Kurucs

    Martin Laksa

    Tom Leimanis

    Rihards Lomaz

    Mareks Mejeris

    Andrzej Pasechnik

    Kristaps Porzingis (out)

    Roland Schmidt

    Aigars Skele

    Karlis Silinjs

    Ojars Silins

    Marc Steinberg

    Arturs Strautins

    Janis Strelnieks

    Janis Timma

    Arturs Zagars

    Kristers Zoriks

    Another key man in the squad is point guard Arturs Zagars, one of the revelations of the World Cup and a big reason why Latvia were able to overcome the absence of Porzingis.

    The 24-year-old put an exclamation mark on a great tournament with a World Cup single-game record 17 assists in the Fifth-Place Game triumph over Lithuania.

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    Zagars looked doubtful for the OQT when he hurt his knee while playing for BC Wolves and underwent surgery yet he returned to the hardwood several weeks ago and has looked more and more like the player that excelled in Jakarta and Manila.

    In an interview with the website, he spoke of his aim to be at the OQT.

    "Obviously, I'm still working towards that," he said. "With every game, with every attack, I feel that I'm getting my rhythm back, my legs are starting to listen to me. Now the point is that I have to read situations correctly, when to attack, when and how to defend.

    "Slowly, but I'm getting there. I'm not worried about it, I'm happy that the body and knees are sending good signals."

    Latvia will play in Group A at the OQT with Georgia and the Philippines, while Brazil, Montenegro and Cameroon will be in Group B.


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