|18 August 2012|
Lithuania meet Serbia for the second time in less than a week when they play each other in the first semi-final at the Samsung U18 European Championship.
The two sides previously met on Tuesday when Lithuania prevailed 77-68 as both teams impressively shot at over 45% from the field.
On that occasion Lithuania was able to rely on a bench that runs deep with seven players finishing with at least seven points, and on Saturday Arunas Visockas will again be depending on some big performances from his back up players.
Lithuanian leading scorer Justas Tamulis was averaging 18.8 points a night in his team's first five games but has only been able to come up with seven a night in his team's most recent two games. It has been allowed to go largely unnoticed thanks to the contribution of the back-up players.
Serbia, on the other hand, do not enjoy the same depth, with Dejan Mijatovic relying on a core group of players to do most of his scoring.
This group is led by Nikola Jankovic, Nikola Radicevic and Luka Andusic, who are all averaging over nine points a night. In order to advance to the final, it is likely that at least two of these players will need a big game.
There could however be, in Stefan Pot, a fourth player who can step up offensively if required. Prior to Serbia's 88-79 quarter-final win over Bulgaria, the guard had been barely noticed but came to the fore against the Bulgarians, finishing with a game-high 24 points on six-for-eight shooting from outside the arc.
Should he be able to replicate that form on Saturday, it could go a long way to silencing what is promising to be a vocal partisan crowd in attendance at Siemens Arena.