Following the meeting of the FIBA Europe Board in November 2002, it was decided that a new system of qualification would be implemented for the 2005 European Championship for Men.
Israel did their best game in the tournament and had no problems to win the important game against Latvia after really great shooting throughout the game.
Israel started the game with high speed and the Latvian players did not stand up against it. Israel made the first nine points in the game and played really great basketball in the first quarter. They where almost perfect in the shooting and looked very focused. The Latvians had no possibility to play the powerful game they had showed in the former games.
Big time favourites Germany were on top of the game troughout the 40 minutes. In between Latvia proved some good strength, but overall it was Germany who was the strongest team.
At crucial moments, Latvia made a lot of mistakes and won the not so pleasant statistics for turnovers 18-8. With two triumphs the Germans are qualified for the next round. The situation for Latvia is more difficult.
Prior to the game there were many tensions involved in this baltic derby. And what a game we got. It went to overtime, and it was Lithuania who finally won with one point. In the end it was Lithuania's safe free throws who gave them the opening win.
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