By Vytautas Kaminskas
Lithuania advanced to the next round by beating European Champion Slovenia. Lithuanians had old bills with their opponent from last Eurochamps when the big favorites of the tournament lost to Slovenia by 40 points in the semifinal and got bronze medals only.
The beginning of the match was very, very close. None of the teams were able to get a significant advantage and only in the middle of the second quarter Lithuanians got a 7-point advantage. However, Slovenians soon fought back. They were able to win last minutes of the quarter and stepped into halftime with a minimal lead - 41-40. Lithuanians simply couldn't stop Sasa Zagorac, who had scored 16 points in the first half.
The break-through for Lithuanians came only in the third quarter. Mostly on great efferts by Paulius Jankunas (12/12 2fg) and Captain of the team Marius Prekevicius, they made a run and in 27th minute were already leading 61-53. In front of 1500 spectators, Lithuania kept increasing their lead and won 92-74 to secure the second spot in the group. Slovenia will mostprobably stay fourth as they are meeting Americans in the last match of the group stage.
Lithuania: Jankunas 28 (10 rebounds, 12/12 2pt), Marius Prekevicius 17 (8 assists, 5/7 3pt), Seibutis 13 (6 assists), Jomantas 12 (6 rebounds, 4 assists), Maciulis 9, Kavaliauskas and Silinskis 4 each, Babrauskas 3, Anisimov 2.
Slovenia: Zagorac 26, Lorbek 20, Fon 9, Zagorac 7, Julevic 6, Venta 4, Rivzic 2.