FIBA World Cup 2019; Game 2; Lithuania-Canadakhatib
Lithuania’s hot shooting sends Canada to Classification Games
DONGGUAN (China) – It was supposed to be the Group of Death, but Australia and Lithuania have taken the life out of it even before the last game day. Lithuania’s 92-69 win over Canada sees them join the Boomers in the Second Round.
Canada hoped for more this summer with coach Nick Nurse and a roster led by Cory Joseph and Kevin Pangos, but they will remain out of the sweet sixteen of the FIBA Basketball World Cup. Similar to their game against Australia, they fell behind early on and faced an uphill battle for most of the game.
Lithuania had no trouble in protecting their double digit lead. Coach Dainius Adomaitis used all 12 players, and 11 of them got on the scoresheet, led by Edgaras Ulanovas’ 15 points. Jonas Valanciunas had 13 and 8 rebounds, Mantas Kalnietis finished with 11 and 5 assists, Lukas Lekavicius also scored 11, while Domantas Sabonis rounded up the double digit club with 10. Kyle Wiltjer’s 24 weren’t enough for Canada.
Turning Point: A Brady Heslip three-pointer saw Canada cut the gap to 59-50 midway through the third quarter. But a timely timeout by Adomaitis got Lithuania back on the same page, getting their lead to 70-54 with 10 minutes to play. Canada tried to make it back, but to no avail.
TCL Player of the Game: Edgaras Ulanovas. He has done all the damage through the first three quarters, and his 15 points came on 7-of-11 shooting from the field. Ulanovas also had 5 rebounds and didn’t commit a single turnover in 28 minutes of work.
Stats Don’t Lie: Not a lot Canda could’ve done when Lithuania were shooting 51 percent from the field and grabbed 19 offensive boards, winning the rebounding battle 46-27.
Bottom Line: With all the noise that was made about this group, it is almost amazing that Australia and Lithuania are through after just two games. They will play for the first spot in two days’ time, with teams carrying over all three of their results to the next round, that game could be crucial in the greater picture of the Quarter-Finals. Canada and Senegal will play the Classification Games, focusing on Olympic Qualifying Tournament tickets.