Turkey loses to Latvia, to play Spain at Eurobasket
AFP photoThe Turkish national basketball team will play against Spain on Sept. 10 in the Round of 16 of Eurobasket 2017 after failing to beat Latvia.
Turkey lost 89-79 to Latvia on Sept. 7 in Istanbul’s Ülker Arena, finishing Group D in fourth spot. With the result, the host team will play defending champion Spain, which has now won 11 games straight, dating back to the group stage in Eurobasket 2015, with an 87-64 triumph against Hungary on the same night.
Kristaps Porzingis shone for Latvia with 28 points, seven rebounds, three blocks and two steals, as his side clinched second place in the group to book a meeting with Montenegro in the Round of 16 on Sept. 9.
Cedi Osman had 24 points, six rebounds and five assists in a losing effort for Turkey, while Melih Mahmutoğlu added 19 points and seven boards.
Turkey coach Ufuk Sarıca said simple mistakes determined the result of the match.
“We played very similar to the two other losses in our group games; the players fought tough on the court but they failed to play well enough for a good result,” he said.
Sarıca said each and every player has been doing his best since the beginning of the tournament.
“We have created a national team that plays to win, that is loved and sympathized with,” the coach said about his young team that missed the services of experienced guns such as forward Ersan İlyasova and center Ömer Aşık.
“We lost tonight and finished the group in the fourth spot, but I congratulate all my players,” Sarıca added.
In Spain’s victory against Hungary, Pau Gasol scored 20 points, taking him to 1,111 all-time, meaning the 37-year-old Spaniard is now the new leading scorer in the history of Eurobasket. Tony Parker, in second place, has 1,104.
Hungary will play Serbia, which finished Group D in top spot, on Sept. 10.
In other Round of 16 clashes, Slovenia will play Ukraine, Germany will take on Greece, Italy will take on Finland and Lithuania will play Greece on Sept. 9 at Istanbul’s Sinan Erdem Dome.
On Sept. 10, Latvia will play against Montenegro and Croatia will take on Russia.
Tickets for the game are available on the tournament’s website and Biletix.