LATVIA will play Lithuania for fifth place at the Basketball World Cup and Slovenia and Italy couldn’t recover one day after seeing their hopes of making the tournament semifinals fall short.
Latvia earned its trip to that game by topping Italy, 87-82, on Thursday at the start of the consolation playoffs.
Lithuania then beat Slovenia, 100-84, in the night’s second game.
Slovenia will play Italy for seventh place on Saturday, the same day that Latvia and Lithuania will play for fifth place.
Slovenia and Italy both lost Wednesday in the quarterfinals; Canada topped Slovenia and the US rolled past Italy.
LITHUANIA 100, SLOVENIA 84
LITHUANIA (6-1) jumped out to a 12-point lead after one quarter and had little trouble topping Luka Doncic and Slovenia (4-3).
Jonas Valanciunas had 24 points and 12 rebounds for Lithuania, which got 15 points from Ignas Brazdeikis and a combined 18 assists from Vaidas Kariniauskas and Rokas Jokubaitis.
Doncic led all scorers with 29 points. Aleksej Nikolic had 14 points, Mike Tobey finished with 13 points and nine rebounds and Zoran Dragic scored 12 for Slovenia.
LATVIA 87, ITALY 82
ANDREJS GRAZULIS made 12 of his 13 shots, finishing with 28 points and six rebounds to lead the winners (5-2).
Grazulis’ final shot of the night was a 3-pointer with 24 seconds left that sealed the win. Latvia finished the game 15 of 31 from 3-point range.
Aigars Skele added 12 for Latvia, which is playing in its first World Cup.
Playing the next-to-last game of his career with the national team, Gigi Datome led Italy (4-3) with 20 points. Italy played without Utah forward Simone Fontecchio, who was held out.
Image credits: AP