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Latvia ends France’s Basketball World Cup title hopes

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Tokyo Olympics silver medallist France was eliminated from Basketball World Cup title contention on Sunday after losing 88-86 to Latvia.

France, which also lost its opener to Canada, did not trail in the game until Latvia took the lead with just over 30 seconds remaining.

Arturs Zagars then nailed a free throw to put Latvia ahead by two points with 10 seconds remaining, and Sylvain Francisco missed a three-point attempt with France’s final chance.

The result means France cannot finish higher than third place in Group H, ending its chances of winning the Naismith Trophy.

France’s Nando de Colo was ejected for two unsportsmanlike fouls late in the fourth quarter.

Latvia outscored France 26-12 in the fourth quarter.

France arrived for the tournament with a squad featuring NBA stars like Minnesota’s Rudy Gobert, New York’s Evan Fournier and Los Angeles Clippers forward Nicolas Batum.

Latvia is making debut at the World Cup and won its opening game 109-70 against Lebanon.

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