Serbia & Montenegro finally got what they have worked so hard for over the past two days – a comfortable 82-67 win over Latvia to stay alive in the competition and a standing ovation from the Novi Sad crowd to go along with it.
The hosts came into this game knowing a loss would mean elimination from the competition.
Latvia face their toughest challenge of EuroBasket preliminary round play on Sunday as they need nothing less than to defeat Serbia & Montenegro on their own court to challenge for a place in an elimination game.
Heroic displays by Sandis Valters and Kristaps Janicenoks weren’t enough to prevent Latvia from losing to group leaders Spain in a heartbreaking 114-109 overtime game.
If anyone still doubted whether the Spanish national team could play well without Pau Gasol, they got the answer from Juan Carlos Navarro and Jorge Garbajosa tonight in a 114-109 overtime win over Latvia.
Navarro scored 35 points and Garbajosa added 31, both of them spending considerable amount of time at the free-throw line as Spain made 51 of 63 foul shots.
Spanish coach Mario Pesquera has warned he wants his players to forget last night's thrilling 89-70 win over hosts Serbia Montenegro and not take for granted the remaining two games against what some would call 'lesser competition' in the form of Latvia and Israel.
"I think we must forget last night's game and focus on today's. We won against a very strong team last night and now we must keep playing the way that brought us success."
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