For Lithuania, Do Or Die

09.09.2009

By Adriana Garcia Senchermes

Lithuania are in the running for the tag of the biggest disappointment in the competition.

Bronze-medal winners two years ago in Spain and semi-finalists at last year's Olympics, the Baltic side have sorely missed the presence of veterans Sarunas Jasikevicius, Darius Songaila and Ramunas Siskaukas.

Despite their absences, Lithuanian fans had high hopes heading into the tournament after they beat world champions Spain 94-72 in Vilnius in their final warm-up game ahead of the EuroBasket.

However, defeats against Turkey and Poland have left Ramunas Butautas' side in a desperate situation.

They need a win against Bulgaria to take the third spot and progress to the Qualifying Round.

"We played great basketball against Spain in our last warm-up," said Butautas.

"Somehow we lost that in Poland.

"We have yet to show that our game. The game against Bulgaria is our last chance to continue in the tournament and we cannot lose.

"I believe in my players and I trust they will find our game and show that form that we had going into the tournament tomorrow."
 
Last Time Out:  Lithuania have beaten Poland in all of their three official games by a minimum of 18 points.
 
Stats: Lithuania were four of 18 (22%) from three-point range and made just 11 of 22 (50%) free throws in their 86-75 loss to Poland.

Key Match-Up: Lithuania's Tomas Delininkaitis vs Bulgaria's Filip Videnov
 
X-Factor: Bulgaria veteran Todor Stoikhov made all of his six shot from inside the arc against Turkey but missed all of his six attempts long range attempts. Stoikhov will have to provide the spark if Bulgaria are to have any chance of upsetting powerhouse Lithuania.
 
Sounding-Off: "Let me tell you the difference between in theory and in practice..." - Bulgaria coach Pini Gershon speaking about his team's chances against Lithuania.


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