In 2001 Latvia was crowned as the surprising team of EuroBasket.
With the young, and back then anonymous, powerful center Kasparas Kambala, they barely lost to hosting Turkey on opening night.
Portugal beat Latvia 77-67 but failed to leapfrog them in the Group B table, leaving their hopes of reaching the next round hanging by a thread.
Needing to win by 15 plus points, the Portuguese stunned their opponents with a remarkable three-point shooting exhibition (nine of 18, 50%) and actually led 61-44 with 9:02 remaining in the game after a Paulo Cunha three-ball.
Latvia may not have won their game against Spain on Tuesday, but they offered further evidence that they have all the makings of a team that can reach the latter stages of the EuroBasket.
The difference between this year’s side and those in the past is clearly the emergence of Andris Biedrins, their low post threat who never shied away from attacking the basket against the Spanish, even when going up against Pau Gasol.
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