Rihards Lomažs was the winner with 15 points, but Andrejs Gražulis added 13 points. Igns Brazdeikis stood out with 13 points in the Lithuanian national team, which did not come to Riga in a non-star line.
Both teams entered the game in the first quarter, involving 10 players each. Neither the hosts nor the guests gained a significant advantage, and the Latvian basketball players went to the break with a minimal lead at 16:15. In the middle of the second quarter, the Lithuanians took advantage of a couple of household mistakes and took the lead with +4 (28:24), but the zeal in the defense helped the Latvian national team to recover quickly. The balance of power remained in balance at the end of the half at 31:31.
After the break, the Latvian national team resumed the game with more energy, with Andrejs Gražulis standing at the basket in several episodes. By the middle of the third quarter, after the long range shot by Tomas Leimanis, the advantage of Latvia reached 10 points (43:33). The Latvian national team started the last quarter with a seven-point lead (50:43), but a few minutes later after Artūrs Kurucs’ three-point lead it was already +12 (55:43). The cooperation of Lithuanian basketball players was too disorganized to play, and in the rest of the match Latvia was already dominant.
Anžejs Pasečņiks admitted after the match in an interview on Latvian Television that it was too early to expect a good performance, as the team has been working together for only four days. However, it was important to be ready to go on the field and fight so that the team would get better and better in preparation for the important match against Serbia, Pasečnik explained.
In an interview with Latvian Television, Lomažs laughed that he was walking in the court like a green ball and the accuracy of the shots was limping, but he also emphasized that the most important thing was to prepare for the game against Serbia.
Honors Jānis Blūmas
Jānis Blūms is honored for his contribution to the Latvian national basketball team6min
During the half-time break, the arena honored the long-term captain of the Latvian national team Jānis Blūms, who played 170 games in the national team. Bloom was greeted by his coaches and former team members, as well as the President of the Latvian Basketball Union (LBS) Raimonds Vējonis. Bloom received the LBS Badge of Honor.
Dāvis Bertāns, one of the leaders of the Latvian national team, was not entered for the game.
Conversation with Kārlis Muižnieks
Basketball national team test game Latvia – Lithuania. Interview with Kārlis Muižnieks4min
Basketball coach Kārlis Muižnieks admitted in a conversation on Latvian Television that the players of both teams are not in the best condition at the beginning of the summer, but this does not prevent them from enjoying the basketball festival.
The two units will meet again in Siauliai on Sunday.
The Latvian national team, led by head coach Lukas Banka, is preparing for an important game in the World Cup qualifying group against Serbia. The outcome of the fight scheduled for June 30 at “Arena Riga” will be important for Latvian basketball players to increase their chances of securing participation in the final round of the next selection round.
In the first test match against Lithuania, the Bank does not yet have the striker Rolanda Šmita, who has become the Spanish vice-champion in Barcelona, who will join the team on June 24.
The Latvians will finish the first round of the 2023 World Cup qualifiers in Slovakia on July 3, but the outcome of this fight will not affect the team’s chances in the selection process.
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