|4||F. SAN EMETERIO||4||0/1||0||0/0||0||0/1||0||0/0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|10||V. CLAVER||Did not play|
|Min||Minutes played||Tot||Total rebounds||BS||Block Shots|
|%||Shooting percentage||PF||Personal fouls||*||Starters|
IZMIR (FIBA World Championship) – Lithuania have produced the comeback of the FIBA World Championship so far, storming back from an 18-point third quarter deficit to dramatically overrun Spain, 76-73, and keep their hopes of first place in Group D alive.
Spain’s loss sees them now likely to meet Greece in a thrilling Eight Final match that highlights the depth of quality teams in this tournament.
For the first half, Spain executed superbly in the half court with pick and roll and in the low post, and Lithuania could not consistently find answers. While they fought hard, they trailed by as much15 points, and 43-35 at half time.
While the game opened up in the third quarter the Lithuanians could not make the most of it, whereas Spain put on a show, capitilising on sloppy transition defence from their opponents to open up their 18 point lead.
But Lithuania would not lie down, rallying late in the third to reduce the margin to 11 at the last break. The men in green then closed 61-64 with 7:16 to play on back-to-back steals and dunks by Jonas Maciulus that brought the huge crowd to fever pitch.
A Martynas Pocius three pointer drew scores level with 5:25 to play, and Linas Kleiza gave them first lead since 6-4 with 1:30 to play. From there the Lithuanians held their nerve in the ensuing free throw shoot-out to record a famous victory.
Kleiza was again outstanding ands controlled with 17 points, well supported by Pocius (13 points), Maciulis (13 points) and Kalnietis (12 points) who outplayed their more fancied Spanish counterparts.
For Spain, Marc Gasol was a tower of strength with 18 points and 8 rebounds, but his teammates could not pick up the slack when Lithuania reverted to double teaming him. Juan-Carlos Navarro, Rudy Fernandez and Jorge Garbojosa all scored in double figures.
Kestutis Kemzura (coach, Lithuania): I mentioned before the game how important it was to control ourselves and control our emotions – bad ones and good ones also. When you are playing basketball it is a game, you have to play with desire you have to play with emotion but you have to control.
Sergio Scariolo (coach, Spain): You are only in crisis when you are out of the championship.
We want to fight for the medals. We have lost two games but the championship is long. Tomorrow is another day and we are going to focus on the next game and then the day after tomorrow and so on.