Cancel
Group:  E | 07.08.2008, 20:45h
Group:  E | 07.08.2008, 20:45h
79-89
19 - 2218 - 1827 - 2015 - 29
19 - 2218 - 1827 - 2015 - 29
Venue: Riga (LAT) |
Spectators: 100 |
Referees: Lazaros Voreadis (GRE), Matej Boltauzer (SLO), Bojan Jovanic (BIH)

GAME REPORT


Lithuania A Step Closer To Gold

After a game loaded with emotions and intensity Lithuania joins Turkey in the semi-finals from Group E after an 89-79 triumph over Italy.

Lithuania knew before the tip off they need a four point win or more in order to advance, while Italy would have settledĀ for a three point loss.

A three team tie with a 4-1 record at the end of the Qualifying Round saw Lithuania on top, followed by Turkey. Italy, who finished third, will play the 5-8 classification games.

"It wasn't easy to start the game knowing we are already four points down before the tip off, but it gave us big motivation to fight for every ball," shared Martynas Gecevicius of Lithuania.

"Now we're going for the gold. We'll give everything we have against Spain. When you get so close to the medal you want it even more."

Gecevicius, once again, led the way for Lithuania, collecting 26 points and four steals. Zygimantas Janavicius scored 18 with five assists and Donatas Motiejunas added 17 points, eight rebounds and two blocks.

Pietro Aradori scored 25 points in addition to seven rebounds for Italy followed by Lorenzo D'Ercole with 16 points and four assists.

For almost the entire game no team managed to show dominance. Both teams fought hard and gave whatever in their power to get the ticket to the semis.

The players celebrated after every big play, pushing their team-mates and trying to break the opponent's spirit.

At some point in the last quarter it seemed like Italy will be the happy side, but a big push by the Lithuanian side made the difference in the closing minutes

The win, along with the needed gap, were secured only in the last seconds.

Italy played a very aggressive defense and as a result lost four players who fouled out. None of those four played more than 26 minutes.

Gecevicius carried Lithuania to a 22-19 first quarter lead, but after five minutes in the second period Italy was in charge.

D'Ercole with some big shots pushed his team to a 31-27 lead, but Janavicius and Gecevicius changed things again and at half time had a 40-37 lead.

Vytenas Lipkevicius hit a three pointer from the left corner and was foul during the shot, to connect a four point play and give his team an eight point lead, 50-42.

When it seemed Italy has lost their energy they managed a run with 11 points in a row, making it 59-54.

Italy already climbed to a six point lead early in the fourth, which actually meant a ten point lead, but now it was time for an 11-0 run by Lithuania in which four different players scored.

Aradori still made it just a four point game with less than five minutes to play, but a three pointer by Janavicius extended the gap to eight, and Lithuania made a great job to maintain the lead until the buzzer.

"I joined the team after a few games because I was playing with the Junior national team, and coach helped me to adjust to the team and the situation and now I feel great," shared Motiejunas.

"In Greece we won the silver medal, but here I want to help my team go all the way to the gold. I can't wait for that."

Top performers

Accumulated statistics

41.9%

26/62
FG
M/A

50.0%

29/58

41.7%

15/36
FG2P
M/A

54.1%

20/37

42.3%

11/26
FG3P
M/A

42.9%

9/21

69.6%

16/23
FT
M/A

66.7%

22/33

30

6/24
RT
RO/RD

39

8/31

11

AS

13

14

TO

16

7

ST

6

0

BS

2

34

PF

22

79

Pts

89

Next Games

Italy

Italy

Lithuania

Lithuania