Estonia Drop Two Games To Lithuania

09 August 2005

The Estonian national basketball team lost both training matches to Baltic neighbours Lithuania at the weekend, falling 74-52 and 80-61.

Estonian head coach Tiit Sokk is trying to build some momentum ahead of the additional qualifying tournament for the EuroBasket but they were mauled by the European champions.

Sokk told Eesti Paevaleht: "As long as we keep losing, I cannot say anything good about the team."

Sokk claimed the games against Lithuania were worse than other training game Estonia have played this summer.

"Especially the first game - that was much worse than our previous games," he said.

"If a single player does not work hard, there is no chance for decent defence."

In that game, Estonia were outscored 32-11 in the first quarter.

As a result, Sokk was furious with starters Martin Muursepp, Ardo Armpalu, Andre Parn, Valmo Kriisa and Tanel Tein.

"The first quarter is on their conscience entirely," he said.

"I am sure they know what the problem was. I do, but I do not want to talk about it. But I do say that against countries like Lithuania, a team has to fight for 40 minutes without compromising."

Lithuania, despite not having Sarunas Jasikevicius at the EuroBasket, will be among the favourites to win. Jasikevicius has signed with Indiana in the NBA and will be focusing on his preparations for his first season with the Pacers.

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