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For the second straight year, the U.S. Armed Forces basketball team was to play for third place Saturday in the SHAPE International Basketball Tournament in Belgium.

The U.S., despite 22 points from Matthew McGraw and 10 from Daniel Nwaelele, fell to Latvia 85-67 in Friday night’s semifinal game, which saw the Latvians go 30-for-39 from behind the three-point arc.

The Americans endured a dismal 11-for-28 night from the free-throw line, according to SHAPE’s Steve Richardson, in dropping a semifinal game to a Baltic state for the second straight year. Lithuania ended the Americans’ title run last year with a 70-67 victory, before the Americans rebounded with a 78-57 victory over Latvia in the bronze medal game.

This year, the Americans were to play Lithuania on Saturday night for third. Defending champion Greece downed Lithuania 68-64 in Friday night’s other semifinal.

SHAPE International Basketball TournamentSHAPE, Belgium — Friday’s results from the 2008 SHAPE International Basketball Tournament, which was to end Saturday:

Friday’s scores

Canada 65, France 54Italy 66, United Kingdom 60Greece 68, Lithuania 64Latvia 85, United States 67

Saturday’s games

11th place—Netherlands vs. Belgium9th place—SHAPE vs. Turkey7th place—France vs. United Kingdom5th place—Canada vs. Italy3rd place—United States vs. LithuaniaChampionship—Greece vs. Latvia


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