The North Macedonian women’s basketball team may not go to Riga to play the last qualifying games of the 2021 European Championship, as several players have been diagnosed with Covid-19 in its ranks. Basketball Federation
The Federation reports that two basketball players have been diagnosed with the virus in the national team, as a result of which the team’s departure to Riga is questioned. The virus infection has been discovered in the city of Ohrid, from where the state unit was preparing to go on its way to Riga. The Basketball Federation of Northern Macedonia has already informed the International Basketball Federation (FIBA). It is known that communication is taking place with FIBA Secretary General Kamil Novak.
The Federation announces that a decision will be made in the near future, which will benefit all parties involved. The qualifying tournament games will take place in “Arena Riga”, but due to the restrictions in the country, there will be no spectators in the stands. It is planned that on the first day of the game on Thursday, February 4, the Latvian team will meet with the last group I team of Northern Macedonia and victory in this game is a prerequisite for continuing to qualify for the final tournament.
On February 4, the main competitors Germany and Croatia will play against each other. For the Croatians, victory will guarantee first place in the group and a ticket to the final tournament. In that case, on Saturday, February 6, the winners of the Latvian and German team games will take the second place, but will be able to go to the final tournament only if the balance is better than the second place winners in at least four groups out of nine.
In turn, the success of the German national team will complicate the situation in the table and will also restore the prospects of the Latvian national team in the first place – in order to win it, Germany will have to win the last round by a big difference.
When comparing the balance of the second place winners in different groups, the first criterion will be the number of wins, the second criterion – the difference between the points gained and lost (only the results of the games will be taken into account with first and third place winners). It is already known that three wins will guarantee the right to play in the final tournament, and this bar will be overcome by at least two teams (second place winners in groups C and D), while three wins can no longer be won by second place winners in three groups (A, E and G).
For the time being, only the organizing countries Spain and France, as well as the Belgian national team, which has won first place in Group G, have the right to play in the final tournament. After four rounds, Germany and Croatia have three victories, Latvia has two successes, but Northern Macedonia has no victories.
Latvian national team candidates
Elīna Babkina (Nadezhda of Orenburg, Russia), Ilze Jākobsone, Ieva Pulvere, Kitty Laksa, Karlīne Pilābere, Dinija Sanda Pāvelsone (all – “TTT Rīga”), Paula Strautmane (Pecs “Pecs”, Hungary), Anete Šteinberga (Istanbul “Galatasaray”, Turkey), Kristīne Vītola (without club), Laura Meldere ( Venice “Umana Reyer”, Italy), Luīze Šepte (“University of Latvia”), Katie Vihmane, Rūta Stiprā (both – “Liepāja” / LSSS), Kate Krēsliņa (“Castors Braine”, Belgium)