Lithuania Roll Into Semifinals

26 July 2007

Lithuania crushed Croatia 92-58 to secure their place in the competition’s semi-finals tonight in Rethimnon.

Gilvydas Birutas had 21 points as Marius Linartas’ side led from start to finish and will now face Serbia in Saturday’s semi-final.

The game was never close once Croatia fell behind 23-14 at the end of the first quarter.

Vladimir Vanjak’s side, who earlier in the tournament had done a good job of recovering from large deficits to challenge – and even win – some games, never got a real charge going.

A day after they combined for 48 points in Croatia’s 84-62 defeat of Ukraine, Croatia’s pair of Toni Prostran and Ivan Batur, accounted for just nine points on four of 13 shooting.

Lithuania relied on four players – Birutas, Mantas Kadzevicius, Giedrus Staniulis and captain Augustas Peciukevicius – to take a 45-27 lead at the break.

All four were already in double figures at half time as they accounted for 40 of the team’s 45 points.

The loss means that Croatia will now play in a group with France, Greece and Italy in the games to determine places 5 to 8 over the weekend.

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