Latvia to host pre­lim­i­nary round games of 2019 eurobas­ket Women

The Baltic Times - - COMMENTARY - LETA/TBT Staff

Latvia has been picked as one of the hosts of the pre­lim­i­nary round games of 2019 Eurobas­ket Women, FIBA Europe Board de­cided at a meet­ing on Satur­day, June 25.

Latvia and Ser­bia will host two pre­lim­i­nary round groups each. The Fi­nal Stage will be played in Bel­grade, Ser­bia. The pre­lim­i­nary round groups will be played in Nis and Zren­janin (Ser­bia) as well as in Riga and Liepaja (Latvia).

Other bid­ders for the 2019 Eurobas­ket Women host­ing rights were Rus­sia and Is­rael.

Latvia's bid was pre­sented by the former leader of Team Latvia, Anete Jek­ab­sone-zo­gota, and the Sec­re­tary Gen­eral of the Lat­vian Bas­ket­ball Union, Edgars Sneps. The pre­sen­ta­tion in­cluded video mes­sages from Lat­vian Pres­i­dent Rai­monds Ve­jo­nis, Riga Mayor Nils Usakovs, Lat­vian bas­ket­ball leg­end Ul­jana Semjonova and the cap­tain of Team Latvia, Gunta Basko-melnbarde.

"I am sure that, with the sup­port from the cen­tral govern­ment and the Riga lo­cal govern­ment, we will be able to or­ga­nize a true gala of women's bas­ket­ball in 2019. I hope that the good per­for­mance of Team Latvia [at 2017 Eurobas­ket Women] in Prague and host­ing of the 2019 Eurobas­ket Women will not only bring more trainees to sports schools, but will also en­cour­age lo­cal govern­ments and busi­nesses to in­crease their sup­port to women's bas­ket­ball," said Valdis Voins, Pres­i­dent of the Lat­vian Bas­ket­ball Union.

As a host of the 2019 Eurobas­ket Women, Team Latvia will be ex­empt from qual­i­fy­ing for the cham­pi­onship.

As re­ported, Latvia hosted Eurobas­ket Women in 2009 - in Riga, Liepaja and Valmiera.

Team Latvia has done very well in 2017 Eurobas­ket Women and is to­day play­ing Italy in the semi-fi­nals for 5th to 8th place. The top six teams in the fi­nal Eurobas­ket tour­na­ment stand­ings will qual­ify for next year's FIBA World Women's Bas­ket­ball World Cup, which means that a win by Latvia on Satur­day against Italy will see Latvia through to the World Cup.

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