Germany beats Latvia and will face Team USA in World Cup semi-finals


Germany continue their impressive World Cup run after a tight two-point victory over Latvia this Wednesday for the FIBA Quarter Finals. Now that they are through to the next round, the Bavarians will face the United States in semifinal action, a rematch of a tune-up matchup from last month which Team USA won.

That game, played on August 20 in Abu Dhabi, wasn’t easy for the United States, as they had to rally back from a 16-point deficit at the half to finally conquer the match 99 to 91. But as for this World Cup competition, Germany remains the only unbeaten nation.

One of the highest assets in their latest victory was Orlando’s rising star Franz Wagner, who entered in the second half and really changed the game, starting with a beautiful step-back three pointer.

“I thought Franz really picked us up in the second group,” his head coach Gordie Herbert said. “I can’t say enough about our bench tonight. That’s the third or fourth game in a row.”

“We set ourselves high goals and it’s going to be a challenge,” said German player Johannes Thiemann. “But with those goals in mind, we have to beat teams like the U.S. And hopefully we’re able to do that.”

Andreas Obst also contributed 13 for Germany, on a night where Toronto guard Dennis Schroder failed with 4 for 26 from the field, and only hit 9 points in total. As for Latvia, who ended their FIBA dreams 4-2, had Arturs Zagars with 24 points to his name, and Davis Betrans with 20.

“All I want to say is that I’m extremely proud of this team, battling every single game,” said Bertans, who almost won the match for his country with a three-pointer in the final 5 seconds, but finally hit the rim and went out.

With today’s victory, the German squad has secured its second-best finish in basketball’s most important international competitions, as they were third in the 2002 World Cup, and once placed seventh at an Olympic event.

The German coach believes his squad just beat the best European team competing in the World Cup, and they will take this motivation to the semi-final clash

Unfortunately for Latvia, they had to play today’s contest without their star player Kristaps Porzingis, who signed this summer for the Boston Celtics. The European nation can still finish as high as fifth in their first World Cup appearance, as they confront Italy in tomorrow’s consolation playoffs.

“They’re the best team in Europe nobody talks about,” said Gordie Herbert, Germany’s head coach. “And they’re missing a couple guys, too. They play great basketball, team basketball. They shoot it, well-coached, I give them a lot of credit.”

Check out the highlights from this intense Quarter Final game which wasn’t decided until the final seconds:

The Americans, on the other hand, took the day off today and will resume practice on Thursday, just a day before their next challenge against Germany.

“I just beat Latvia. Germany’s in the semifinal of the World Cup,” Moritz Wagner said when asked about the semi-finals. “Don’t ask me about the USA. I’m going to enjoy this and then I’m going to think about the USA tomorrow.”

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