Diamantidis Fan Peciukevicius Not Afraid Of Big Shot

29 July 2008

Take the following player description: a hard-nosed defending point guard who leads by example while also possessing the ability to hit the big shot in the clutch. That fits perfectly for Greece senior side playmaker Dimitris Diamantidis.

But it should be no surprise that it is also an adequate scouting report of Augustas Peciukevicius since the Lithuanian point guard at the U18 European Championship Men looks up to Diamantidis.

Peciukevicius may not celebrate his 17th birthday until this December, but the Vilnius native has already shown the ability to handle the load at the U18 level. He averaged 16.7 points, grabbing 4.0 rebounds, dishing out 1.0 assists and swiping 1.0 steals as Lithuania swept through to a 3-0 record and first place in Group B of the Preliminary Round in Amaliada and Pyrgos.

"Right now, our atmosphere is really good. It was tough today (against Estonia) and we were exhausted after the game against Italy. But we want to win a medal here," said Peciukevicius.

"And to do that we need to be as one fist and work as hard as we can."

Crucial to Lithunia's chances in Greece will be the return to fitness of Donatas Motiejunas, who did not play in the final two games of the Preliminary Round after experiencing swelling in his knee the morning after Lithuania's opener.

"He's very important because he's one of our leaders. He scores a lot of points and gets a lot of rebounds. If he comes back then I think we can reach the final," said Peciukevicius.

Despite being younger than his team-mates, Peciukevicius has been the leader on the court for Vitoldas Masalskis's team with his defense and big-play ability. He picked up two steals and converted a number of fast break baskets late in Lithuania's opening victory over Serbia. In the team's second game, Peciukevicius nailed a three-pointer with two seconds left to give Lithuania a thrilling victory over Italy.

When asked if he likes having the ball in his hands when the game is on the line,  Peciukevicius said: "If the team needs that, then okay. I will do it. Yeah, I like to take those big shots."

Peciukevicius says he likes to pattern his game to that of Diamantidis, adding: "He is a very good defender. He is very clever. I think he is one of the best point guards in the world."

Diamantidis is also considered a self-less team player, and Peciukevicius offered this description of himself: "I am a team player. I am not selfish. I do what is best for the team."

Peciukevicius has gained plenty of knowledge and experience by practicing with the senior team of Lithuania giants Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius. But he will next season move onto second divison club Akademija-MRU Vilnius.

"I am really looking forward to playing there and seeing how much I can improve. And then we will look towards the future."

Perhaps one day Peciukevicius will get the honour of locking up defensively against one of his role models - Dimitris Diamantidis.



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