Gold is within reach: 16-year-olds who resisted the Greek onslaught are in the final of the European Championship

Another Lithuanian youth national team can bring home the gold. Sixteen-year-old boys in the semi-finals of the European Championships 77:61 (23:18, 16:13, 16:15, 22:15) held out against the Greeks and thus entered the final.

The French and Spanish will fight in the other semi-final.

In the first 5 minutes, the game was even and it was reflected in the result – 11:11. During the rest of the quarter, the leading team changed frequently, but two penalties and a two-pointer allowed the Lithuanians to lead 23:18 after the first ten minutes of the game.

The Greeks began to approach (20:25), but soon the Lithuanians responded with a good section. Kasparas Jakučionis and Nojus IndruÅ”aitis hit from a distance, Mantas Laurenčikas – a two-pointer, so the difference became solid – 33:20. The Greek 16-year-olds revived the attack a bit (26:37), but Lithuania went into the long break leading 39:31.

The Greeks began to approach dangerously (33:39), but free throws kept the Lithuanians ahead – 43:33. True, the difference was halved again in a better section (39:44), and Filippa Tsachtsiras added two points – 41:44. Our attacks stalled, Neoklis Avdalas did not waste easy opportunities, so the Greeks were already breathing on our backs – 43:44. Kasparas Jakučionis hit from a distance, Dovydas Buika – a two-pointer, finally after the third quarter Lithuania regained the advantage – 53:46.

In the decisive half, the Lithuanians remained ahead and did not repeat the mistakes of the past. The difference was double digits or close to it (61:50), and Kaspars Jakučionis’ layup forced the Greeks to ask for a break. It didn’t change anything significantly – ours had control in their hands, they didn’t waste penalties and came close to victory – 72:57.

Lithuania: Nojus IndruÅ”aitis 20, Kasparas Jakučionis 15, Nedas Raupelis 10 (10 rebounds), Mantas Laurenčikas and Dovydas Buika – 8 each.

Greece: Neoklis Avdalas 18, Filippos Tsachtsiras 12 (8 rebounds), Andreas Patrikis 8 (9 rebounds).

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