The last 16 of EuroBasket 2022 is here and the last game on Saturday night is the titanic tussle between Spain and Lithuania
All games from now on are at the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Berlin, Germany
21.00 CEST, 20.00 BST, 15.00 EST, 12.00 PST
How they got here
Spain (4-1) suffered one big bump as they were well-beaten 83-73 by Belgium that was far clearer cut than the final score suggested. They did enough to secure the top seed however with wins over Bulgaria, Georgia, Montenegro, and Turkey.
Lithuania (2-3) opened their campaign with three straight close losses to Slovenia, France, and Germany before beating Hungary followed by a crucial victory over Bosnia and Herzegovina to punch their ticket to the knockout rounds.
Need to know
Juancho Hernangomez has looked awful throughout the tournament, especially when it matters most and that’s got to be an enormous concern for Spain given that Jonas Valaciunas is easily having the tournament of his life in a Lithuania jersey.
This will be very much a pro Lithuania crowd and, despite being the four seed, this team will have real hopes of making the medal rounds based on the quality of its performances in the utter slugfest that was Group B.
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I still haven’t seen Hustle but I hear it’s really good, even from my non-basketball following friends. Spain may be the reigning World Cup champions but they failed to make the medal rounds in Tokyo last summer and this has looked like a really transitional roster for them throughout the tournament with nobody standing up as the true leader.
Lithuania are in the reverse situation of their last appearance at EuroBasket where they made the knockout stages as a top seed only to be wholly outplayed by a Greece team playing as a four seed. Lithuania also beat Spain twice in the lead up to this competition.
What do the bookies say?
Despite their top seeding, Spain are the underdogs in this one at 99/50 while Lithuania are 51/100. The point spread favours Lithuania by -5.5.
What do we say?
There’s usually one paper champion from the group winners at EuroBasket and there’s no argument that it’s Spain this time. They’ve simply not looked capable of troubling anyone considered a contender at this tournament.
I’m taking Lithuania with the points.