|8||M. GECEVICIUS||Did not play|
|12||T. KLIMAVICIUS||Did not play|
|14||M. ANDRIUSKEVICIUS||Did not play|
|6||R. GONZALEZ||Did not play|
|15||F. KAMMERICHS||Did not play|
|Min||Minutes played||Tot||Total rebounds||BS||Block Shots|
|%||Shooting percentage||PF||Personal fouls||*||Starters|
ISTANBUL (2010 FIBA World Championship) – Lithuania
stunned Argentina 104-85 to close the Quarterfinals of the FIBA World Championship at the Sinar Erdem Dome. Now Lithuania plays the USA in the semifinals on Saturday, September 11.
Lithuania was head to head with Argentina in the first couple of minutes but their sticky man to man defense, focused on Scola and that didn’t allow any passes inside nor any comfortable shots, gave them all the confidence to start their run. The Lithuanians took off with an 8-0 run to be up 17-10 after a basket by Robertas Javkotas with 4:06 left. Then Argentina came back with a 5-0 run that finished with an amazing steal, behind the back dribble and dunk with a foul by Hernan Jasen with 1:48 to close the game 21-17.
That play by Jasen was supposed to be the spark that the Argentineans needed, but the Lithuanians never lost their composure and continued to hit from behind the arc after a three pointer by Tomas Delininkaitis and then a two point field goal by him finished the first quarter up 28-18.
In the second quarter it was when it all fell apart for Argentina as Lithuania kept their balanced attack, perfect shooting from long distance as they connected their first eight three pointers with success and a suffocating defense. Argentina tried to find Scola, who only had two points in the first quarter, and responded with some made shots. The Argentineans never made a three pointer in the first half and they went down 50-30 after a tip-in at the buzzer by Delininkaitis.
At halftime Lithuania had Mantas Kalnietis, Tomas Delininkaitis and Simas Jasaitis with 9 points each.
In the third quarter the Lithuanians started with a quick 6-0 with a dunk by Martinas Pocius, a three pointer by Kalnietis and then a free throw by Jasaitis to take a 56-30 lead. In the middle of the quarter Argentina showed some life by making their first three point basket, by Pablo Prigioni with 4:47 and then another by Carlos Delfino and Jasen with 3:19 to be down 70-47. Lithuania maintained their comfortable margin and ended up 85-53 after a three pointer by Delininkaitis with two seconds left. Six of the Lithuanians had already scored in double digits.
Despite being down by such a large margin, Argentina never gave up, tried every trick on the book but they just couldn’t find the rhythm to make this a contest. Lithuania had seven players who scored, all of them in double figures led by Simas Jasaitis with 19 points.
This loss broke the Argentineans run to the semifinals in this tournament after reaching it in 2002 and 2006. This is also the last time that the “Golden Generation” will play in the FIBA World Championship.
Lithuania, who was one of the four wildcards for this tournament, made it to their first semifinals in FIBA World Championship history.
Kestutis Kemzura (Lithuania head coach): We got a really great game today. First of all we prepared well physically and mentally, especially mentally. I think today Argentina were more under pressure than us. They had more to lose than us. But they’re a great team, with a great coach and experienced players. We thought maybe our advantage was our aggressiveness, our aggressive defense. We tried to stop Luis Scola and the pick-and-roll between Pablo Prigioni and Luis Scola and I think we did a great job of this. And I want to make special mention of captain Robertas Javtokas for that. We went on a run late in the first half. In the second half, coach Hernandez tried to change their play, with zone. We got lucky and made some threes, made some shots. We managed to keep it going. It’s really a good achievement for our young team.
Martynas Pocius (Lithuania): It’s hard to say something right now because there’s a lot of emotions. Overall a great win for us. You know it was definitely a team effort. Seven guys scored in double figures, that’s amazing. I think the key was starting off strong cause in past games we were in situations where we were down 10, 20 points and had to get back in the game. That was tough. But today we got off to a great start, played a great first half. Amazing effort by all our guys.
Sergio Hernandez (Argentina head coach): Some games need more analysis than others. But this game tonight there was only one team on the court. Lithuania. They killed us. They shot well. They made their first eight three-point shots and we could not stop them anytime. We couldn’t play offense, we couldn’t play defense. We had to play one-on-one all the time in the second half. Congratulations to the Lithuanian team because they’re one of the best teams. The best performance was by Lithuania tonight, because don’t forget in front of them was Argentina. No excuse.
Fabricio Oberto (Argentina centre): Lithuania played great defense. We tried to adjust to their quality and talent. They were just playing better than us. One of the characteristics of this team is that we’re really proud to play for the national team. So it’s not over and we have to keep playing.