Basketball stars secure World Cup place

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Latvia's women's basketball team pulled off another great result in the Czech Republic on June 23 to secure a place at the next World Cup.

By beating Italy 68:67 in a playoff for fifth place at the Eurobasket competition, the women's team qualified for the World Cup next year.

A hard-fought win for @basketbols ?? as they secure a spot at the #FIBAWWCC. #EuroBasketWomen2017


— FIBA (@FIBA) June 24, 2017

However the game was not without controversy, with quite a few Italy fans questioning the refereeing towards the end of the game, and in a post-match press conference, representatives of the Italian team spent a long time bemoaning the refereeing decisions. 

Nevertheless the result is now in the history books.

Latvia's team captain Aija Putnina said: "It's a very historic win and I'm so happy I'm crying tears of joy."

"We have never played in the world championships so it's huge for us. That was our goal. We didn't come here to lose all the games. This was out goal to make it to the world championship and we did it."

The result continues a great summer of sport for Latvia's representatives in several different sports and sets the bar for the men's basketball team who will compete in their Eurobasket championship later this year, with big-name players Kristaps Porzingis and Davis Bertans expected to be on board.

Meanwhile the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) also announced that in 2019 the women's Eurobasket championships will be hosted by Latvia and Serbia, with a selection of qualification games taking place in Riga.  

.@basketbols ?? take the ticket to FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup 2018 ?. #EuroBasketWomen2017 #FIBAWWC

— FIBA (@FIBA) June 24, 2017


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