Manila, Philippines. A crowd of 11,349 fans witnessed an incredible moment at the Mall of Asia Arena as Lithuania achieved a stunning victory over the United States with a final score of 110-104. This intense and exciting game showcased the passion and talent present in international basketball completely worth it to hit the eu news.
An Impressive Start and an Exciting Conclusion
Right from the beginning, Lithuania showed their dominance by establishing a 52-31 lead towards the end of the first half. However, what made this game truly remarkable was not only Lithuania’s early advantage but also the thrilling conclusion that had everyone buzzing.
During halftime Coach Steve Kerr and his team worked their magic by igniting a spark that limited Lithuania to only two points in the first five minutes of the third quarter. The daunting 17-point deficit that Team USA faced at halftime quickly diminished to four points thanks, to Mikal Bridges leading an unwavering momentum. With 10 minutes remaining on the clock, the score stood at 71-65 injecting renewed energy into Team USA.
Nevertheless, Kazakhstan’s head coach Kazys Maksvytis displayed brilliance by maintaining a perfectly balanced team.
The second team took the lead, setting up a fourth quarter. With players like Jonas Valanciunas and Donatas Motiejunas in the paint along with unexpected standout Vaidas Kariniauskas as a backup point guard, Lithuania consistently found ways to score near the basket, preventing the USA team from closing in on their lead.
In the minutes of the game, Lithuania remained composed and made crucial free throws to secure their hard-earned victory with precision and composure.
The Unstoppable Jonas Valanciunas
Jonas Valanciunas was a force throughout this game. His statistics alone don’t fully capture his impact on the court. Valanciunas not only led vocally but also presented a formidable physical presence for Lithuania. Jaren Jackson Jr., Bobby Portis Jr., And Paolo Banchero can all attest to the challenge of facing him both defensively and offensively. While Valanciunas ended with 12 points 7 rebounds and 2 blocks his influence went beyond what’s reflected in the numbers.
Stats Tell the Story
Lithuania’s impressive performance was highlighted by their three-point shooting accuracy as they made their first nine attempts from, beyond the arc. This remarkable achievement allowed them to build a 21-point lead during the first half. Even though their accuracy from three-point range decreased, their ability to secure rebounds stood out. They managed to grab 18 rebounds, resulting in a significant 17-2 advantage in second-chance points.
Continuing the Lithuanian Legacy
Lithuania’s win in this matchup marked the time they defeated the USA showcasing different generations of basketball talent. This victory sends a message to the basketball world; Lithuania is a formidable contender for the gold medal.
Six Lithuanian players scored in figures, demonstrating a well-rounded offense that played a crucial role in defeating the USA. Anthony Edwards led the team with an impressive 35 points, but none of his teammates scored more than 14 points. This made the game an unusual and challenging experience for the United States, at the World Cup.
What They Said
- Kazys Maksvytis, Lithuania head coach: “We need to save our emotions and our effort for the next game. Just in two days, we’re starting the playoffs. Congratulations to my players, but we need to have a short memory to prepare for the second game.”
- Vaidas Kariniauskas, Lithuania: “It’s hard to talk. It was a tough game from the beginning. It’s a big win for our country, for the players, the coaches, to play against the best in the world. I’m happy for my country, for my family, for our families, and we don’t need to stop now. We don’t need to celebrate much; we have a do-or-die against Serbia in 48 hours.”
- Steve Kerr, USA head coach: “Great basketball game. Lithuania obviously just came out of the gates on fire, made their first nine threes, took it to us. I love the way our guys fought back, played much better in the second half, competed like crazy, gave it a really good run, but it wasn’t enough. It’s a great game for us to experience. This is FIBA. There are great teams that have continuity, that understand what they are doing, they execute. Lithuania was brilliant tonight; they deserved to win.”
- Anthony Edwards, USA: “Luckily we get to play again; that’s all I’m thinking about.”
In the grand theater of international basketball, Lithuania’s remarkable victory over the United States will undoubtedly go down in history as a testament to their skill, resilience, and unwavering commitment to excellence. The world now eagerly anticipates their upcoming showdown with Serbia, a matchup that promises to be nothing short of electrifying.