Latvia head coach Luca Banchi said his team “doesn’t need a coach any more” after the tournament sensations booked its place in the quarterfinals Sunday with a win over Brazil.
Latvia is making its World Cup debut and has already beaten Tokyo Olympics silver medallist France and defending champion Spain in Jakarta. It clinched its place in the last eight with another hugely impressive display against Brazil, thrashing the South Americans 104-84.
Banchi said his goal as a coach was “to make the players autonomous” and he believes that time has already come.
“I believe this group doesn’t need a coach any more,” said the Italian. “They are solid, conscious, accurate, bringing more and more confidence into the tournament. We can adapt, they know what I’m asking when we go into some choices, they know what’s the style that works.”
Latvia, which will play either Germany or Slovenia in the quarterfinals, has become a huge crowd favourite in Jakarta, with local fans getting behind the team.
The tournament, which is being held in Indonesia, the Philippines and Japan, now moves entirely to Manila for the final stage.
Banchi said he had been greeted by local fans when he and his assistants visited a mall in Jakarta and was surprised to hear some of them greet him in Latvian. He said the city had given him memories that “will be forever”.
“Yesterday night, I realised the task we did, not only on the basketball court but also off the court,” he said. “How our people, our fans, and also our attitude on the court defines this unforgettable adventure.”
- IND vs AUS, 3rd T20I: With so much dew even 14 runs per over would have been chased, says Gaikwad defending Prasidh and co.
- India’s Ashwal Rai, Muthusamy urge home support during Volleyball Club World Championships 2023
- Vijay Hazare Trophy 2023 LIVE Score, Round 4: Baroda 40/3 in 167-run chase vs TN; Mumbai beats Pondicherry by 7 wickets; Saurashtra eyes big win vs Odisha
- Barca has shown ‘winning mentality’ in Champions League, says Xavi
- Pakistan players told to put country before franchise leagues under new team director Hafeez