Lithuania 93 Spain 84

14.09.2003

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FIBA Europe President George Vassilakopoulos presenting the trophy to Saulius Stombergas
Lithuania are European Champions 2003 ! After a great tournament and a dominant finals game against Spain, Lithuania are European Champions again for the first time since 1939. Lithuania was also the only team with two players, Jasikevicius and Stombergas, in the All-Star team for Eurobasket 2003.

Spain kept the finals close for about one and a half quarter. At the end of the second quarter Lithuania went on a 16-8 run to lead 40-31 at halftime. Spain never had a chance in the second half as Lithuania dominated the game for the last two quarters. They extended their lead to 62-48 after 3 quarters and Spain never really threatend them in the fourth. Spain never got within single digits in the final period.

Lithuania showed hat the reason they won the tournament was their depth and ability to depend on a lot of different players to provide the scoring for them. At the half Lithuania were up 9 points but had no player in double figures. They had 8 players score 7 points or more in the finals. They shared the ball on offense and got it to the opne man all night long.

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Darius Songaila had 10 points in just 13 minutes
Spain, however showed that they are very much a 3 man team at the most, and that they depend on their big star Pau Gasol for a lot of their offensive production. Gasol had an amazing final game, but it wasn’t enough on this night. Gasol scored 36 points and grabbed 12 rebounds. He shot 12 for 18 from the floor, but only 10 of 18 from the free throw line. The other two mplayers that produced for Spain was the two who has in previous games in the tournament. Jorge Garbajosa scored 17 points and got 5 rebounds. Juan Carlos Navarro had 18 points and 3 assists.

Lithuania’s best players was Arvydas Macjiauskas, 21 points on 6-10 shooting from the field and 7-7 from the line, and center Eureljius Zukauskas, 18 points on 7 for 8 shooting and 7 rebounds. Sarunas Jasikevicius was voted tournament MVP and showed why as he handed out 9 assists to go with 10 points. Darius Songaila came off the bench to score 10 points and grab 4 rebounds. Captain Saulius Stombergas scored 9 points and had 6 rebounds.

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Lithuanian Fans celebrating
The game was as expected a very physical affair with a lot of foul calls. 5 players, 4 of the starters, fouled out for Lithuania. A total of 64 fouls was called, 34 for Lithuania and 30 for Spain. Spain played in their fifth European Championship finals and lost for the fifth time. In this game Spain failed to live up their expectations, as Gasol, Navarro and Garbajosa got too little help; the rest of the team scored 13 points combined.

The All Star team of the tournament featured guard Tony Parker and Jasikevicius, forwards Andrei Kirilenko and Stombergas, and center Pau Gasol. The leading scorer was Gasol and the leading rebounder was Predrag Drobnjak of Serbia & Montenegro.


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