The fight against Greece in the European Championship qualification is important for the Latvian team

Aigars Skele
Aigars Skele Photo: LBS

Today, the Latvian men’s basketball team will play the third game of the 2022 European Championship qualifying tournament with Greece.

The Latvian team, which started the tournament with two losses, will play with the Greek national team in the “bubble” in the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo on Friday. The match will be broadcast live on TV6 TV channel.

The teams are in diametrically opposite positions at the tournament table of Group H. If Latvia is in last place with two losses, the Greek team takes first place in the group of four teams with two victories. Bulgaria and Bosnia and Herzegovina have won and Latvia has already lost.

In the first qualifying round of the European Championship qualifying tournament in February, Latvia conceded to Bosnia 61:62, but in the next match they were unable to win after a ten-point lead in the third quarter and a seven-point handicap at the end of the match, which gave Bulgaria 104: 110.

Since then, Latvia has played two games, yielding to the Estonian and Lithuanian national teams in July in an experimental international tournament in Estonia.

Meanwhile, in the first national team window, Greece beat Bulgaria 73:63 and Bosniaks 70:65 away.

The Latvian team has been in Sarajevo since Monday afternoon, the Latvian Basketball Union (LBS) reports. Six classes were held in the gym, which laid out the basics of team tactics for playing with Greece, and several video sessions took place, exploring the peculiarities of the opponent’s game.

In evaluating the impact of the players’ current sports uniforms and micro-trauma on performance, the coaches decided not to announce Artūrs Ausējs, Inga Jakovičs and Kaspars Bērziņš for the first game in Sarajevo.

The captain of the team is Marek Mejer.

“Greece has no superstars, but it is a powerful team with skilled and experienced players”, team head coach Robert Sttelmaher emphasizes the strengths of the opponent. “Everyone understands basketball well and knows how to use team assets. Be prepared for physical pressure, including various provocations. And you have to play at your own level – not to make the game unnecessarily complicated, but to do what we know with quality.”

The Latvia and Greece national teams have met each other in five games so far and the opponents have prevailed. The Latvian team failed in the final tournament of the European Championship in 1993 (62:81) and in 2015 in the “small” semi-final for 5-8. instead (90:97).

He also lost in test tournaments in Stockholm in 1993 (92: 107) and Athens in 2009 (52:80), but won the 2005 Adriatic Cup in the Italian city of Portosantelpidio (76:72). Roberts Štelmahers scored ten points for the Latvian team in the game won.

The first game of the second round with the Bosnia and Herzegovina unit awaits Latvia on Sunday.

Composition of the Latvian basketball team for matches in Sarajevo:

Artūrs Ausējs, Māris Gulbis (both – “Ventspils”), Jānis Bērziņš, Rolands Freimanis (both – Zelona Gura “Stelmet Enea”, Poland), Mareks Mejeris (Perm “Parma”, Russia), Kaspars Bērziņš (“Ogre”), Artis Ate, Kristers Zoriks, Aigars Šķēle, Mārcis Vītols (all – “VEF Rīga”), Klāvs Čavars (Minsk “Cmoki”, Belarus), Rihards Lomažs (Vilberbanas ASVEL, France), Mārtiņš Laksa (Lublin “Start”, Poland), Mārtiņš Meiers (“Astana”, Kazakhstan), Ingus Jakovičs (Varese “Obenjobmetis”, Italy).

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