The Latvian national team, which has already defeated several favorites for the World Cup including France, Spain and Brazil, will meet the German national team in a crunch quarter-finals encounter on Wednesday. Germany are the only unbeaten team in the tournament.
One of the coaches of the Latvian national team, Artūrs Visockis-Rubenis, told reporters in Manila that the team has done a great job in order to prepare the most suitable tactics for a physical game against the powerful German national team. The Latvians are looking to balance coverage of the opposing shooters with limititing the influence of Germany's NBA star Dennis Schröder, and disciplined action in defense will be an important task.
"Just like against Spain, against Germany too we are expecting very high-quality basketball," Visockis-Rubenis was quoted as saying by the LETA agency. "Also physical basketball, because in this phase of the tournament you can't do without physical play and blood."
In the absence of superstars such as Kristaps Porziņģis and Dairis Bertāns due to injury (though both remain to support the tight-knit squad) less well known players such as Artūrs Žagars and Kristers Zoriks have stepped forward and become stars in their own right.
As well as advancing in this tournament, a victory over Germany, could guarantee Latvia a place at the Paris Olympic Games next year, if Canada defeats Slovenia later in the day.
The Latvia v Germany match will start at 11:45 Rīga time (16:45 local time).
32 national teams are participating in the World Cup final tournament, and the Latvian national team is a debutant. The final will take place September 10 in Manila, the capital of the Philippines.
More details at the official FIBA World Cup site: https://www.fiba.basketball/basketballworldcup/2023