Hosts Take On Lithuania

08 September 2009
By Adriana Garcia Senchermes
Lithuania will be looking to bounce back from an 84-76 defeat to Turkey when they meet tournament hosts Poland on day two of the EuroBasket Group D action in Wroclaw.

Ramunas Butautas' men remained close to Turkey only to see their hopes of clinching a victory fade away when Bogdan Tanjevic's team went ona 13-5 run early in the fourth quarter to take command.

Lithuania struggled on defense and turned the ball over in crucial stages of the game.

"I'm sure we can play better," said Butautas. "My players need to put behind them the defeat against Turkey and concentrate on our next game against Poland.

"We made too many turnovers against Turkey and my players were nervous in the final minutes of the game, playing too fast.

"I am confident we will play better against Poland."

Lithuania have quite a task on their hands.

The hosts looked formidable a gainst Bulgaria, winning that clash 90-78.

With Poland leading 17-16, the EuroBasket hosts scored nine unanswered points as part of a 27-9 run to take a commanding 44-25 advantage and stayed on top the rest of the way.

While Lithuania like to run, they may have to slow the game down against the Poles who drew praise from their coach, Muli Katzurin.

"We played a great first half," said Katzurin.

"Our defense was excellent.

"It was very important for us to start well and now we face Lithuania, who need no introduction."

Last Time Out:  Poland have won just once against Lithuania and that was at EuroBasket 1997 with an 88-69 triumph.
Stats: Poland were 10 of 24 (42%) from three-point range in their triumph over Bulgaria while Lithuania finished nine of 25 (36%) from long range in defeat to Turkey. Lithuania  made six of their 15 turnovers in the final quarter.

Key Match-Up: Lithuania's Robertas Javtokas vs Poland's Maciej Lampe
The two centers are familiar with each other as both are with Russian Superleague clubs. Javtokas is on the books of Dynamo Moscow and Lampe plays at BC Khimki. Lampe ha an all-round solid game against Bulgaria with 17 points, five rebounds and four blocked shots.
X-Factor: Lithuania's sharpshooter Tomas Delininkaitis disappointed against Turkey, making just one of his six (16.7%) three-point attempts. He was limited to just five points.

Sounding-Off: "We will try to avoid making the same mistakes as we did against Turkey. We need to play aggressive defense and limit our turnovers. I know Poland's Maciej Lampe from the Russian Superleague and I will try to stop him." - Lithuanian center Robertas Javtokas.


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