All right, the home team hits the court again tonight in Panevezys, presumably in hopes of improving on a somewhat inconsistent opening game against Great Britain; with Spain and Turkey performing as expected to go 2-0, Team Lithuania will need a W to keep up.
Note for the game: Marijonas Petravicius will not be playing tonight due to an unspecified minor injury. Could this mean some time for prospective Toronto Raptor Jonas Valanciunas, who only saw four minutes of action last night…? Find out soon and follow the BallinEurope live blogging below the break. Enjoy!
Pregame. Announced lineups for tonight are as follows. Poland brings Dardan Berisha, Lukasz Koszarek, Adam Hrycaniuk, Thomas Kelati, and Szymon Szewczyk; Lithuania lists Rimantas Kaukenas, Mantas Kalnietis, Paulius Jankunas, Simas Jasaitis, and Robertas Javtokas in the middle.
Other games tonight: Italy vs. Germany in perhaps the marquee matchup; Macedonia vs. Croatia; and Ukraine vs. Slovenia.
First quarter. 9.36: Thomas Kelati starts the scoring in the game and it’s “Lietuva! Lietuva!” early from the full-capacity crowd.
9.23: Kaukenas bags the first points for Lietuva, putting in two FTs.
8.45: Calls going against Lithuania early … Kalnietis gets called for an invisible foul; Lithuania turns it over out of bounds when there appeared to be contact…
8.13: And now a dodgy traveling call…don’t the refs know this crowd could riot?
6.57: With no Polish Hammer, Kelati is the man for Poland. And he’s living up to it again, with four points early. Poland, 8-6.
5.56: Kalnietis with a three for Lithuania’s first lead at 9-8. He’s got five early.
5.24: Poland scores its first rebound *of the game*, only to have to give up the ball on a foul. 11-10, Poland.
5.03: Kalnietis now at eight; it’s always someone different for Lithuania. Lithuania up, 13-11.
4.00: Guess who on the tip in. Poland, 16-15. And then the defensive rebound. And then Songaila on the feed from KALNIETIS!
2.45: Saras pulls up for a three after Kalnietis sits; Poland looks to prevent disaster with a good timeout.
1.55: Valanciunas comes into the game, scores his first points of the tourney on a tip in. Teams trade buckets and it’s 24-18 for Lithuania.
1.10: Interesting early stat: Lithuania has 24 points despite six TOs. The secret? 8-of-11 overall shooting.
0.00: Lietuva can’t convert on the last possession of the quarter and the first ends at 25-20.
Second quarter. 8.37: Some nice ball movement and pick-and-roll action sets Songaila up for the bucket and a 27-22 Lithuania lead.
7.54: Is this quarter Songaila’s? Two for him and it’s 29-22, followed by some nice D by the former 76er to force a Poland turnover.
7.06 Songaila and Songaila again. Really. 33-22, Lithuania.
6.21: No way. Songaila’s 10th point of the quarter. 35-24.
5.33: Lithuania calls timeout for some reason; perhaps to decide who’s going to confuse Poland and dominate next…
4.42: Kalnietis picks Kelati’s pocket, goes coast-to-coast for the layup … o yeah, he’s back in the game, because Songaila’s out. Lithuania, 41-30.
3.05: Sick shooting by Lithuania: 18-of-24 overall; sick in the other meaning is Poland’s, at 12-of-31, including just 3-of-10 on threes. Time out, Poland. 45-30, Lithuania.
1.37: Leoncyk sinks two FTs after a dubious call on Jankunas, but Poland is looking mighty disoriented and disorganized out there. Jankunas returns the favor with two FTs of his own to make it 49-35.
0.41: Another good stat: Lithuania — zero TOs in the second quarter.
0.00: Lithuania is playing to their strengths in this game, simply bringing too much depth and keeping the opposition guessing. The spreading of wealth is Lithuanian basketball at its best and thus they’ve earned the 53-38 halftime lead.
Third quarter. If you’re a Lithuania fan, you are loving this. 71% shooting, zero turnovers in the second quarter, 11-of-14 from the line, 14 assists against Poland’s four…everything is working.
9.23: Nerves? Lithuania fouls three times in the first 37 seconds…
8.33: Another foul, and Saras is brought in to calm things down. Or maybe argue with the ref, which is his first action on the floor. Kelati hits two FTs and it’s a 5-0 Poland run. 53-45, Lithuania.
7.39: Jasikevicius leaves Kelati on the floor for a pull-up jumper. 57-45. And Jasaitis’ subsequent two has Poland heading for the bench on a TO. 60-45, Lithuania.
6.00: Now it’s Martynas’ turn? Two FTs after a hard foul gives him six this quarter already.
5.38: Yep, that’s Pocius drawing another foul. And Jasikevicius throwing down the subsequent two.
3.15: Kelati stops the 8-0 Lithuania run with a Dirk-like jumper. 68-49, Lithuania.
0.00: Sheesh, 76-52 to the homers.
Fourth quarter. This is exactly what Lithuania wants. Poland simply can’t react quickly enough as Lithuania shows off its amazing depth. These guys can go outside or inside, fast break or half court and everyone’s scoring. 44 bench points against 18 for Poland … this team has BiE believing in a deep run.
6.56: Kalnietis’ three brings the overall Lithuanian shooting to a ridiculous 75%. The Dallas Mavericks couldn’t stop these guys.
5.21: C’mon, fans. You’re jeering a bad call at 88-61? The only thing crazier than this team’s red-hot play is the audience … can’t say as BiE ultimately blames ’em, though, really.
3.59: Serbia’s standing tournament high score of 92 set today is toast. The only question is whether Turkey’s +31 over Portugal is in danger. 89-68, Lithuania.
2.29: More compelling stats: Just two players — Pocius and Kalnietis — have played over 20 minutes.