Frailties Worry Latvia Coach Kraulins

12 August 2003

Latvia head coach Armands Kraulins cautioned his charges against over-optimism on Monday following wins against Slovakia and Sweden at the weekend.

The Baltic side spanked Slovakia 105-68 but had to work harder against Sweden in an 87-83 result but Kraulins warned his players not to get cocky in a tournament in Sweden also featuring Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Singling out Raitis Grafs for criticism, Kraulins said: “We still have to work a lot on coordination - both in defense and offence.

"The Swedes were playing well. But they would never had a 10-point lead after the first quarter, had we taken our chances better from close range.

"Everyone was to blame, especially Grafs. And the toothless defence let the Swedes get points too easily.”

Grafs, who top scored with 17 points against the Slovaks, only managed 11 against the Scandinavians who - unlike Slovakia - will be present at Eurobasket as hosts.

Kraulins refused to single out players for praise but did say he was happy with his men’s attitude if not their game.

"We found defects in our coordination," he explained. "As soon as somebody is late for a fraction of a second, all our schemes were shattering. There is a lot work to do."

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