Lithuania Stun Serbia, Turkey Slip Past Bulgaria

25.07.2008

Four players scored in double figures as Lithuania put together a strong performance in knocking off defending champions Serbia 83-68 in Group B action of the U18 European Championship for Men.

Augustas Peciukevicius had 17 points and Tautvydas Sleza added 16 points and 13 rebounds while helping Lithuania hold Serbia to 29 percent shooting in Pyrgos.

Augustas Peciukevicius (Lithuania)
Augustas Peciukevicius paced the Lithuanian offense
Mantas Kadzevicius tallied 14 points and Donatas Motiejunas chipped in 11 for Vitoldas Masalskis's team.

Serbia also had four players in double figures -  Aleksandar Vlahovic (14), Aleksandar Mitrovic (13), Filip Sepa (11) and Dejan Musli (10).

Lithuania used the three-ball to grab the lead in the first quarter with Kadzevicius and Peciukevicius both hitting from long range as Masalskis's team opened an 18-9 advantage. The cushion was 22-20 after one period despite Serbia making just 3-of-16 shots. Lithuania scored the first six points of the second quarter in opening a 28-20 lead and Serbia hung with the Lithuanians and pulled to within three points before trailing 43-38 at half-time.

Serbia stayed with Lithuania for most of the third period, cutting the deficit to 52-48. Peciukevicius made three break-away lay-ups and Motiejunas knocked down a three-ball in a 12-0 for a 67-50 cushion, which was 67-52 after three quarters. Lithuania continued their strong play and Motiejunas's three-ball pushed the advantage to 20 points - 76-56. And the Serbs could not mount a comeback.

Turkey Just Enough Against Bulgaria

Turkey notched a victory to start their Group D campaign in Amaliada barely fending away Bulgaria 88-82.

Turkey's 16-year-old Enes Kanter led the way with 24 points and nine rebounds while Can Mutaf added 14 points and Volkan Incekara had 12 points.

Bulgaria nearly came back from a 17-point fourth quarter deficit thanks to 16 points each from Aleksandar Yanev and Hristo Zahariev while Ivo Slavchev had 11 and Vasil Kyosev chipped in 10.

Turkey played tough defense to begin the game, with Kanter sparking the offense in scoring seven points in Turkey's 13-4 start. The lead continued to grow throughout the first quarter, which ended with Turkey ahead 24-8. Yovcho Atanasov's three-pointer finished off a 7-0 Bulgaria run midway through the second and three-point plays by Yanev and Slavchev had Turkey's margin down to 40-33. It was 46-37 at the break.

Bulgaria tried early in the third to get back into the game and Bozhidar Avramov's three-ball cut the deficit to 48-42. Yordan Kolev's team still only trailed 55-48 until the Turks used a 6-0 spurt to regain a 13-point advantage.

The lead was 69-56 going into the fourth and up to 17 points - 78-61 - with seven minutes left. But Kyosev knocked down a three-ball to make it 82-73 with just less four minutes to play. And Lyuben Paskov's lay-up left it just 86-76 with just 21 seconds left. The deficit was down to four points after Zahariev made a jumper and made two foul shots with five seconds remaining. But Incekara finished the game with a lay-up.

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