Kristaps Porzingis returns to Latvia in style

2022-08-19T19:47:44+00:00 2022-08-19T19:51:58+00:00.

Giannis Askounis

19/Aug/22 19:47

Just a friendly game but the Arena Riga crowd finally enjoys Kristaps Porzingis in the jersey of the Latvia national team

By Johnny Askounis/

The last and only appearances at the senior national team of Latvia were back in the 2017 EuroBasket. But Kristaps Porzingis was back Friday evening.

Latvia rolled Estonia, 80-69, in its lone prep game ahead of the 2023 FIBA World Cup European Qualifiers. Lighting up Arena Riga, the Washington Wizards big man dropped a game-high 18 points from 4/7 field goals and 10/11 from the free-throw line and also pulled down seven rebounds.

Rewinding to the 2017 EuroBasket, Porzingis led his country to the Quarterfinals. The run ended at the hands of Slovenia, as tournament MVP Goran Dragic and Luka Doncic went on to capture the gold medals.

Additional NBA action in the form of Davis Bertans of the Dallas Mavericks in the tuneup matchup hosted in Latvia’s capital. He ended up with six points, six rebounds, and two steals. Rodions Kurucs added 16 points.

For Estonia, Hapoel Bank Yahav Jerusalem newcomer Siim-Sander Vene got the team-high of 14 points with the 22-year-old forward of Dinamo Banco di Sardegna Sassari Kaspar Treier throwing in ten more points. Heading to the 2022 EuroBasket, the team coached by Jukka Toijala wrapped up August friendlies with a 2-3 record.

Not involved in the approaching EuroBasket, the team guided by the Italian mastermind Luca Banchi will now move into Group I of the World Cup Qualifiers facing Turkey and Great Britain with Porzingis expected to play next week as well, before focusing on the 2022-23 NBA Regular Season. Estonia will collide with Slovenia and Finland in Group J, before taking on Group C host Italy, Ukraine, Croatia, Great Britain, and Greece in the preliminary round of EuroBasket.

Photo Credit: Latvijas Basketbola savienība Twitter