Lithuania suffered an unexpected blow by F.Y.R. of Macedonia, who defeated the hosts of EuroBasket 67-65 (18-20, 12-14, 19-18, 18-13) in the quarter-final and knocked them out of further contention for the medals.
“The Macedonian coaching staff did a very good job and is in a situation where they wanted to be. We gave them a chance. They played very smart and didn’t allow us to play our basketball,” said Lithuania’s coach Kestutis Kemzura.Simas Jasaitis had a chance to give Lithuania a win with a couple seconds to go on the clock, but his attempt didn’t reach the target, although the shot was an open one.
“We had a good look for that last shot, but we just didn’t make it,” Kemzura said.Bo McCalebb did anything he wanted to Lithuania’s defense, as the naturalized Macedonian dropped 23 points on the hosts, Vojdan Stojanovski nailed down 5-of-5 three-pointers to collect 15 points, while Vlado Ilievski finished with 12.
Lithuania’s leading scorer was Robertas Javtokas, who ended up with 13 points, Darius Songaila had 12, as Simas Jasaitis and Mantas Kalnietis both chipped in with 9 points each.
The Macedonians will now face the favorites of the whole tournament Spain, while Lithuania will have to compete for 5-8 places and making it to the Olympic qualification.
Only the 5th and 6th places guarantee the chance to make it the Olympics, therefore Lithuania’s next game against Slovenia will be crucial.