Belarus survived a furious comeback by Latvia to win 72-63 and capture the bronze medal in their very first appearance at the EuroBasket Women.
Anatoli Buyalski’s team led by as many as 25 points late in the third quarter but had to hold on for dear life as the Baltic side closed the gap to 61-57 with 3:29 to go on Ieva Kublina’s four-point play.
Belarus and Latvia are both banged up and tired from a long 2007 EuroBasket Women but both sides need to recover and re-focus just one more time in order to capture their greatest result ever - the bronze medal.
The Belorussians are playing in their first ever EuroBasket Women and have exceeded any expectations they may have had coming in while Latvia also come into Sunday's game looking to top off their unexpected run to the semi-finals.
Some things don't change so quickly.
Just like in every EuroBasket in the 21st century Russia will play the finals.
Russia's goal coming into the 2007 EuroBasket was nothing less than capturing the gold medal and direct qualification for the 2008 Olympics.
The 2005 EuroBasket silver-medallists' penultimate hurdle on the way to that goal are the former Soviet Republic of Latvia, who will be Russia's opponent in Saturday's first semi-final in Chieti.
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