Having crushed Lithuanian dreams in EuroBasket last year, Macedonia reminded of themselves once again by defeating Lithuania 78-74 (20-19, 18-19, 18-15, 23-22) on Saturday evening in Klaipeda after a close game.
- You can check out the moments from the game in our photo gallery.
“We came here to show that Macedonians know how to play basketball and that last year’s achievement wasn’t just a coincidence,” said the Macedonian coach Marjan Lazovski.
Even playing without the four main players, Bo McCalebb, Pero Antic, Vlado Ilevski and Todor Gecevski, Macedonia managed to repeat the successful performance against the Lithuanian squad, which was also missing quite a bit of talent.
“We showed that we don’t depend on a single player. We’re a good team and I’m happy that young players had a chance to fit into the team and feel that spirit,” said Predrag Samardziskis, who spent the last season in Vilnius.
Sarunas Jasikevicius, Robertas Javtokas and Paulius Jankunas were all left on the bench by coach Kestutis Kemzura, while Rimantas Kaukenas, Jonas Maciulis and Martynas Pocius are yet to join the training camp.
“Lithuania was waiting for revenge for last year. We wanted it too. However, it is a preparation game and although we wanted to win it, it wasn’t our main priority,” said Kemzura.
Linas Kleiza finished with a double-double of 19 points and 10 rebounds, Jonas Valanciunas scored 10 points and grabbed eight boards, while Tomas Delininkaitis finished with nine points for Lithuania.
The Macedonians were led by the duet of Vojdan Stojanovski, who finished with 22 points, and Predrag Samardziski, who had 21, while Aleksandr Kostoski chipped in with 11 points.
Video from the game: