Lithuania 92 Latvia 91 (OT)

05.09.2003

Prior to the game there were many tensions involved in this baltic derby. And what a game we got. It went to overtime, and it was Lithuania who finally won with one point. In the end it was Lithuania's safe free throws who gave them the opening win.

The start of the game was pretty nervous from both teams. No one took time to make some offensive play, it was just run up and take fast shots. The Latvian team was better in that type of game and took an early lead with ten points which they kept the whole first quarter.

In the second quarter the speed slowed down and the teams started to play better basketball, the offensive sequences got longer and the mistakes were fewer. When the Lithuanians started to play a more agressive basket they got their points and came closer and in the beginning of the third quarter they had contact.

After good Lithuanian work the score after the third quarter was tight, 58-58.

The fourth quarter was very intense and entertaining. The teams changed the lead all the time, the players gave everything they had, often lying on the floor in a desperate hunt for the ball. With less than two minutes to go it looked like Latvia had the upper hand, but Lithuania responded well. A spectacular dunk from Eurelijus Zukauskas led to the final score 81-81, and overtime was to follow.

With merely 3,000 spectators, almost everyone from the two Baltic countries, the heat was on in the overtime. There was never more than two points up. It was decided when Sarunas Jasikevicius made two safe free throws to the score 92-91, with less than four seconds to go. Latvia got one chance to equalize, but Kristaps Valters' layup hit the ring, and out. Lithuania was the winner.


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