|Cold as ice - Sarunas Jasikevicius produced the goods in the clutch to help Lithuania past Puerto Rico|
Needing a win to stay alive, Russia had prevailed 80-65 over Angola in the day's first game.
Greece suffered a 80-79 heartbreak against Nigeria, however, to fall out of contention for London and F.Y.R. of Macedonia blew a 20-point lead and lost to the Dominican Republic, 86-76, to see their Olympic hopes die.
In a true thriller, Lithuania were in danger of missing out on the Summer Games for the first time since gaining independence.
Puerto Rico's Daniel Santiago made one of two free-throws for a 72-71 lead with 36 seconds left but after a Lithuania timeout, coach Kestutis Kemzura inserted Sarunas Jasikevicius and the EuroBasket 2003 MVP drove down the right side of the lane and banked in a lay-up to make it 73-72 in favour of the Baltic side.
Puerto Rico still had 31 seconds left but after a timeout, J.J. Barea threw a pass over the outstretched hands of a well-defended Santiago and it went out of bounds, turning the ball back over to Lithuania.
The Caribbean island team fouled Linas Kleiza and he sank just one of two free-throws, but Puerto Rico failed to take advantage.
Barea penetrated into the lane but instead of attempting the shot, passed to Nathan Peavy and he travelled.
Jasikevicius then made two free-throws to seal the four-point win.
Lithuania will on Saturday take on the Dominican Republic, who came from behind to beat the Bo McCalebb-led F.Y.R. of Macedonia.
McCalebb, a member of the all-tournament team at EuroBasket 2011, had 35 points but his team fell, 86-76.
AFRICA SUITS RUSSIA, BAD FOR GREECE
Kaun had 17 points and Kirilenko 14 with five rebounds, five assists, three steals and a block.
Vitaly Fridzon continued to be a handful for opponents and scored a team-high 18 points.
Greece were perhaps victims of the biggest surprise of all in their one-point defeat to Nigeria and their free-throw shooting was a big reason why.
The Greeks made just 17 of 28 (61%) at the line.
With 30 seconds left, Ade Dagunduro nailed a three-pointer to put the Africans in front, 78-76, but Greece then got a three-ball from Kostas Papanikolaou to go back on top.
With three seconds to go, Dagunduro penetrated and drew a foul from Nikos Zisis.
Coming out of a timeout, the impressive guard made both free throws.
Greece inbounded the ball to Vasileios Spanoulis and he tried to launch a potential game-winning shot from 25 feet but Nigeria blocked the attempt.
The Greeks argued that Spanoulis had been fouled but their appeals fell on deaf ears as the Nigerians celebrated moving a step closer to the Olympics.
Spanoulis was outstanding in every facet of the game except his free-throw shooting.
He finished just six of 12 at the line.
Russia will face Nigeria in Saturday's Semi-Finals.
The winners of the two Semi-Finals advance to the London Games while the losers will square off in the Final for the last Olympic place.