|Osvaldas Olisevicius added 10 points and 4 rebounds as Lithuania came back to claim victory|
Lithuania improved enormously in the second half of their encounter with Serbia to clinch a 68-64 victory on the first day of Group A action at the Sportland U20 European Championship, in Tallinn.
Serbia were the better team during the first twenty minutes of the clash, as they shot close to a fantastic 70 percent from two-point range (to Lithuania's 34.8 percent) to lead 35-27 at the half-time interval.
The Balkan side had scored 32 of their 35 first-half points in the paint and looked set on following this successful modus operandi in the second part.
Serbia extended the lead to 12 points almost immediately upon the return of the two teams from the locker rooms, when Lithuania realised they had to work better on closig the lane and protecting their rim.
They forced the Serbians to a four-minute long dry spell and took their first lead, 43-41, on an and-one play by Mindaugas Kacinas with 4:07 left to play in the third period.
Lithuania made it 57-48, their biggest lead in the game, with just over six minutes left to the final buzzer but Serbia pushed hard and came within one point, 59-58, on a Luka Mitrovic jump-shot 2:57 from the final buzzer.
Zygimantas Riauka however made it 67-62 for Lithuania with a buzzer-beating floating lay-up with just 32 seconds left on the clock and that five-point lead effectively sealed the win for his team.
Lithuania forward Vaidas Kariniauskas led all scorers with 23 points while center Laimonas Chatkevicius contributed 13 points and six rebounds for the winners.
Mitrovic was excellent in defeat for Serbia and collected a double-double of 20 points and 10 rebounds.