|20 July 2010|
Siemens Arena in Vlinius is still closed for the public and local fans can't wait for the Omnitel U18 European Championship to tip off on Thursday July 22.
But Lithuanian Basketball fans already got a glimpse of their next big stars in Panevezys, where the Baltic side suited up against Italy.
The Azzuri were left without a chance as the locals racked up a 109-62 demolition of the visitors.
Lithuania rode a strong performance of rising Lietuvos rytas star Jonas Valanciunas to take an early 28-11 lead after the first quarter.
Things got better for Italy in the second quarter which they won by a single point.
If anyone in Panevezys had feared the Azzuri were capable of a come back after the break he was proved wrong when the hosts thrashed their opponents in the entire second half.
2009 All tournament selection Valanciunas got some help from Zygimantas Skucas who added 16 points and Dovydas Redikas who scored 12 and had 6 assists.
Italy had their best scorer in Giovanni Pini with 20 points.
More disappointing than the loss for Italy was the injury of Gabriele Spizzichini who left the game with a shoulder injury and had to be brought to the hospital for further examination.
He is uncertain for the tournament.