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Group:  F | 19.08.2008, 17:45h
Group:  F | 19.08.2008, 17:45h
72-74
27 - 1711 - 219 - 1525 - 21
27 - 1711 - 219 - 1525 - 21
Venue: Sulmona |
Spectators: 250 |
Referees: Guerrino Cerebuch (ITA), Peter Vigh (HUN), Chin Who Ho (MAS)

GAME REPORT


Russia Just Better Than Latvia

Russia remained perfect after a tough match against Latvia which resulted a 74-72 win.

With this win Russia jumps to a 3-0 record in Group F of the Qualifying Round while Latvia will look for their first group win tomorrow.

Dmitry Kulagin led Russia with 20 points, six rebounds and four steals, Alexander Vranakov added 16 points, Viktor Zaryazhko had 11 points with eight rebounds while Victor Pavlenko contributed ten points.

Edmunds Dukulis led Latvia with a 17 point and ten rebounds double-double, Davis Bertans scored 15 and Andris Misters finished with ten points and eight rebounds.

Latvia had the better start but an early second quarter run by Russia sent the teams to the break tied.

Russia took control of the game but Latvia showed big character and hit time after time from long range to make it a tied game again, this time in the closing seconds.

Kulagin was perfect from the line in the last six seconds to nail the last two points which made the difference.

"Teams from former USSR always have much bigger motivation when they play Russia," commented Alexey Zhukov after the game.

"Latvia gave us a fight but we stayed focus to win this very important game."

The first minutes were all Latvia who hardly missed any shot, on the way to a 27-17 lead after ten minutes.

"They scored very well in the first quarter, but in this age it's very difficult to shoot like that for 40 minutes, so we knew we'll have a chance to come back," added Zhukov.

Less than four minutes inside the second quarter Russia already held a 33-29 lead behind Kulagin's scoring show, as the teams split at 38-38 by half time.

Kulagin and Zaryazhko combined points to give Russia a ten point lead early in the fourth, but Latvia had one more shot at the win.

Bertans found his rhythm from long range to bring his team just two points behind.

His tip-in with 24 seconds on the clock tied the game at 72-72 before Kulagin went to the line less than 10 seconds on the clock.

Latvia still had a chance to win the game but Bertans missed a three pointer with the buzzer.

Russia will face Croatia tomorrow as Latvia will take on Israel.

Top performers

Accumulated statistics

37.1%

26/70
FG
M/A

46.6%

27/58

38.6%

17/44
FG2P
M/A

56.4%

22/39

34.6%

9/26
FG3P
M/A

26.3%

5/19

50.0%

11/22
FT
M/A

57.7%

15/26

35

10/25
RT
RO/RD

48

10/38

3

AS

3

16

TO

22

9

ST

10

4

BS

4

22

PF

22

72

Pts

74

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