Places 5-8: Latvia - Russia


In the first quarter, Russia was dominant, shooting 50 % from the field and having 3 players with 8 or more points. Serguei Panov led the way with 9, followed by 8 a-piece from Andrei Kirilenko (who scored only 7 points against Spain) and Zakhar Pachoutine. This clearly showed that the Russian big men, able to play the perimeter game very well, were creating trouble for the Latvian frontcourt. That, combined with 10 Latvian turnovers, was why Russia finished the period with a comfortable 13-point lead: 31 - 18.

Russia only kept getting better in the second quarter. 04:49 to go in the half, they were able to score twice as many as the Latvians: 48 - 24. The unique Russian zone defense shut down the paint for Latvia. Outside shooting was nowhere near the earlier rounds for Latvia (2 / 10 3-point FG). On the contrary, Russians were shooting the ball extremely well, 60 % from the field and getting 13 field goals out of 14 consecutive possesions whcih resulted in 63 points. Russia had 4 players in double figures in the first half. 10 points from the substitue Maris Laksa and the swingman Ainars Bagatskis were team-high for Latvia who managed to score 39 points.

The second half was no more than an experience for bench players. The teams started playing loose and the concentration level dropped which was the main reason for the turnovers from both sides. Spectacular plays were often seen on the court due to the continuous transition game. Kirilenko was the leader in both categories with 21 points and 13 rebounds.

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