FIBA Basketball World Cup: ‘The Biggest Win in Latvian Basketball history since 1935’

Latvia are celebrating one of their best-ever results after eliminating France at the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023.

(Basketball news) An epic 88-86 triumph featured a stirring 13-point comeback as they sparked jubilant scenes at the final buzzer with the Indonesia Arena packed full with travelling Latvian supporters.

What happened in 1935, some of you may be wondering? Latvia were the first-ever FIBA EuroBasket champions and the triumph remains the only title in their history.

Fast-forward 88 years and the Baltic nation are now delivering on the biggest stage of them all after following up their debut World Cup win by eliminating France and taking their place in the Second Round.

“It’s an incredible feeling,” enthused Davis Bertans. “Having this many fans in the building coming from Latvia making the long trip, getting a win like this against one of the top teams in the world and feeling like we’re playing at home.

“We said we didn’t come here to participate. We want to fight for every single game and every win. The more wins we get, the better the chance that we can go even further and do something more special.”

Star player Kristaps Porzingis watching from the stands, veteran leader Dairis Bertans restricted to less than six minutes through injury, a 13-point deficit against the recent FIBA EuroBasket and Olympics runners-up, and yet Latvia still defied the odds.

This is a nation that did not compete at FIBA EuroBasket 2022 whilst embarking on an incredible run during the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 European Qualifiers with Luca Banchi the architect of an upturn in fortunes.

Latvia will not dwell too long on their incredible achievement as their dream World Cup journey continues with a battle against a surging Canada side for top spot in Group H on Tuesday.

Another win could see the prospect of making it to the Final Phase become a strong possibility with plenty of space for another chapter or two in the history books. 1935 has some overdue company.

Also read: Paolo Banchero’s FIBA World Cup experience might make him famous


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