Lithuania Secure Semi-final Berth

24 July 2006

Lithuania took down Greece 84-65 in Amaliada to claim their sixth consecutive victory and a spot in the semi-final round.

Martynas Gecevicius scored 16 and Zygimantas Janavicius stepped up for Lithuania with 15 points, including three momentum-breaking three pointers.  

Pranas Skurdauskas (LTU)
Pranas Skurdauskas was a force on the boards for Lithuania with 12 rebounds.

Lithuania took control of the game by going on a 10-2 run to close the first half and headed into the locker room with a 36-29 lead.

They would increase their lead to as many as 14 in the beginning of the third quarter.

When Greece cut the Lithuanian lead to 50-40 in the third quarter, Lithuanian head coach Rutjanis Paulauskas called a timeout.

Following the timeout, Lithuania scored five unaswered points on a three-pointer and lay-up from Janavicius to stop Greece's momentum.

A lay-up by Marius Valukonis as the third quarter buzzer sounded gave Paulauskas' men a 61-48 edge.

Greece cut the deficit to nine midway through the fourth, but Lithuania answered with a 9-2 run courtesy of three-pointers from Janavicius and Paulius Klieza and a lay-up from Gecevicius to bring the score to 74-58 with just under three minutes to go, leaving little doubt as to the outcome of the game.

Lithuania may not have the stars that scouts are drooling over, but they do have unbelievable team chemistry and balance that has keyed their run to six decisive victories in the competition.

This balance was evidenced tonight with five scorers in double digits and a team total of 21 assists.

"This team is very difficult to defend against and I think we showed that tonight," said Paulauskas.

Lithuania will look to continue their winning streak against Turkey in the semi-finals, while France plays Spain in the other semi.

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