Kambala Shows Spanish Flair

01 September 2003

Kaspars Kambala, the Real Madrid big man, plays as if he enjoys life in Spain.

He showed as much in his country's latest friendly games against the Ukraine and the Spaniards in Elehido.

In Latvia's 85-65 win over their fellow eastern Europeans, Kambala had 17 points and eight rebounds while Ainars Bagatskis had an even more productive day with 27 points and 10 boards.

On the basketball courts of Riga, players take three-point shots as if it's a birthright, and there is no doubting that perimeter play will be a part of this Latvian side in Sweden.

But coach Armands Kraulins knows he cannot afford to let his team be one dimensional.

He emphasised the need to get the ball inside to his big men Kambala and Ostler, and to
get out on fast breaks as often as possible.

"We have to improve the quality of the performance, even though today occasionally our play was solid," Kraulins said after the Ukraine game.

"The key to the success was good defence, and patience to wait for chances for attacks."

Against Spain, Kambala had 21 points and five rebounds but the Latvians were not as successful, losing 89-73.

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