Latvia to play world champion Spain in EuroBasket

  • 2006-10-25
  • From wire reports

HEADSTRONG: Team captain Aigars Vitols (right) is ready for what's sure to be a tough game against Portugal.

RIGA - The Latvian national men's basketball team will compete against Spain, Croatia and Portugal in Group B of the 2007 European Basketball Championship's final round. "We have proven that we can beat the Portuguese. We will give our best performance 's let them try to beat us if they can," Head Coach Karlis Muiznieks told the Latvian daily Diena. During the EuroBasket 2007 qualification round, Latvia ended up second in its group after beating Estonia and Denmark twice each, and losing two matches to Croatia.

Latvian Basketball Association President Ojars Kehris said he was "satisfied with the results."
Group A will include Greece, Russia, Serbia and the winner of the additional qualifying round, while Group C includes Germany, Lithuania, Turkey and the Czech Republic, and Group D - France, Slovenia, Italy and Poland.

The countries Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia, Macedonia, Hungary, Israel, Sweden and Ukraine have yet to play each other in the Additional qualifying round before moving on to the final round.
EuroBasket 2007 will take place from Sept. 3-16, 2007 in Spain.
The top three teams from each group will move into two further groups of six in the next phase. The top four from each of those two groups will qualify for the quarter-finals.

This is the ninth time that Latvia will play in the European Basketball Championship's final round.
In 1935, the first year EuroBasket was held, Latvia won the championship; two years later the Baltic team placed sixth, and in 1939 it won silver.

Team Latvia has participated in five European Basketball Championships since the crestoration of independence. Latvia fared best in the 2001 championships in Turkey, when it placed eighth.