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Men’s national team: 15 candidates, preparations for matches with Lithuania, Serbia and Slovakia begin on Thursday

The coaches of the Latvian men’s basketball team have selected 15 players who will prepare for the matches of the third stage of the 2023 FIBA ​​World Cup qualifying tournament with the national teams from Serbia (Arena Riga; tickets here) and Slovakia (July 3, Levice).

At the beginning of the training camp, a press conference was held on Thursday, which was attended by the head coach of the national team Luka Banki and representatives of the team.

At the press conference held on Wednesday, the head coach of the Latvian men’s basketball national team, Luka Banki, expressed his joy at the opportunity to start another career, as well as the line-up for the important battles. Remaining true to his communication tactics, the Italian specialist avoided commenting on specific choices, stressing the importance of creating and maintaining a good microclimate and mutual respect within the national team. “We have the talent, experience and succession that has been achieved since last summer. Every day must now be used as purposefully as possible, not only to prepare well for the battles with Serbia and Slovakia, but also to strengthen the foundations of team play, which will help in the future. And, of course, two victories are needed, ”L. Banks outlined his priorities.

Captain of the Latvian national team Dairis Bertāns: “It is good that we are meeting in person, I look forward to full stands and this feeling is positive. I look forward to the games.

Dāvis Bertāns: “It is a pleasure to put on the Latvian national team uniform again and go to fight with the men. The Lithuanian team always wants to win – like every opponent, but we understand that the main thing is to prepare well for the official games. ”

In preparation for the games with Serbia and Slovakia, the Latvian national team will hold a test match with the Lithuanian national team on Wednesday, June 22, which will be held as a basketball green ball, with musical performances and honoring the long-term captain of the national team Jānis Blūms (starting at 18:30; tickets here). On June 26, the answer game in Siauliai.

The Latvian national team has won three victories (over the Slovak national team and twice over Belgium) in the first four games of Group A of the 2023 World Cup qualifying tournament, as well as suffered a minimal loss in Serbia. The Latvian and Serbian national teams have already secured the right to play in the second stage of the qualification. In the game on June 30, Latvia – Serbia will decide which team will take the 1st place in the group (the results of the mutual games will be taken along).

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In the second stage, the top three teams in Group A will compete with the teams in Group B (Greece, Turkey and the UK). As the Belarusian national team (also the Russian team), which played in Group B, was excluded from the tournament, FIBA ​​has adjusted the playoffs for the participating groups – the results of the games with the fourth place winners of Group A will not be included in the second stage. Before the last two rounds, Belgium is in 3rd place (2-2) and Slovakia in 4th place (0-4). The second round of two games will take place in August, November and February 2023, the schedule will depend on the order of places in the final table of the group. The top three teams out of six will qualify for the final tournament.

Candidates for the Latvian state unit



















Name and surnameItemDz.g.Aug.Club’2022GamesPoints
Kristers Zoriks1.1998193VEF Riga13111
Toms Leimanis1.1994188Neptune (LTU)28
Artūrs Žagars1.2000190Lowen Braunschweig (GER)319
Dairis Bertāns2.1989193Real Betis (ESP)1191162
Rihards Lomažs2.1996190Yukatel (TUR)25297
Artūrs Kurucs2.2000192Baskonia (ESP)852
Artis Ate3.1989193VEF Riga29103
Artūrs Strautiņš3.1998198Reggio Emilia (ITA)1139
Rodion Kurucs3./4.1998206Partizan (SRB)614
Dāvis Bertāns4.1992205Mavericks (NBA)45395
Rolands Šmits4.1995207Barcelona (ESP)32184
Andrejs Gražulis4.1993202Allianz Trieste (ITA)34190
Marc Steinberg4.2001205Baxi Manresa (ESP)32
Anjejs Pasčnik5.1995213Real Betis (ESP)16125
Klav Chavar5.1996205Astoria (POL)1581

Team management














Name and surnamePosition
Port BanksHead coach
Jānis GailītisCoach
Artūrs Visockis-RubenisCoach
Oscar ErnsteinPhysical fitness coach
Mārtiņš PowderDoctor
Massimo SimonettaHead of Medical Personnel
Ansis MemberPhysiotherapist
Eduards VēverisPhysiotherapist
Dāvis Folkmanis-EglītisManager
Emil TomLBS men’s national team coordinator

2023 World Cup Qualifiers, European Zone, Group A.








A teamSRBSVKBELLATU-ZPointsV
Serbia * x75:63  71:6369:73101:1003-1316:2991.
Slovakia63:75  63:71 x57:8374:820-4257:3114.
Belgium73:6983:57 x65:66  63:682-2284:2603.
Latvia *100:10182:7466:65  68:63 x3-1316:3032.

June 30: Latvia – Serbia, Belgium – Slovakia

July 3: Slovakia – Latvia, Serbia – Belgium

Group B (Belarus sample excluded). After 4 rounds: Greece 2-1, Turkey 1-2, Great Britain 1-1. June 30: Greece – Great Britain. July 3: Great Britain – Turkey.

Group C. After 4 rounds: Finland 3-1, Slovenia 2-2 Sweden 2-2, Croatia 1-3. June 30: Finland – Sweden, Slovenia – Croatia. July 3: Sweden – Slovenia, Croatia – Finland.

D group. After 4 rounds: Germany 3-1, Israel 2-2, Estonia 2-2, Poland 1-3. June 30: Poland – Israel, Estonia – Germany. July 3: Germany – Poland, Israel – Estonia.

It’s a group. After 4 rounds: France * 4-0, Montenegro 2-2, Hungary 2-2, Portugal 0-4. July 1: Hungary – Portugal, Montenegro – France. July 4: Portugal – Montenegro, France – Hungary.

Group F. After 4 rounds: Lithuania * 4-0. Bosnia 2-2, Bulgaria 1-3, Czech Republic 1-3. July 1: Czech Republic – Bosnia, Bulgaria – Lithuania. July 4: Lithuania – Czech Republic, Bosnia – Bulgaria.

Group G. After 4 rounds: Spain * 3-0, Georgia * 3-1, Ukraine 1-2, Northern Macedonia 0-4. July 1: Ukraine – Georgia, Spain – Northern Macedonia. July 4: Northern Macedonia – Ukraine, Georgia – Spain. July 7: Ukraine – Spain.

Group X. February 24 (Russia excluded). After 4 rounds: Italy 2-1, Iceland 2-1, The Netherlands 0-2. July 1: Iceland – The Netherlands. July 4: The Netherlands – Italy.

The top three teams in each group will qualify for Stage 2, where they will play 6 more games with adjacent teams (A + B, C + D, E + F, G + H). The teams of groups A, B, G and H will take with them to the 2nd stage only the results in the matches between the teams of the first three, the three best teams of groups C, D, E and F will take with them the results of all games.

* Teams marked with an asterisk have already secured the right to play in Stage 2.

The 12 best European teams (three from each Stage 2 group) will receive tickets to the PK Final Tournament in September 2023 in Japan, Indonesia and the Philippines. The teams that will remain in 4th place in the groups in Stage 1 will take part in the pre-qualification tournament for the 2025 European Championship.

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