The Lithuanian national team finally won the first victory of the European Championship when they crushed the Hungarian basketball players 87:64.
Head coach Kazys Maksvytis said that the day was very difficult, because the France-Bosnia-Herzegovina match and the match against the Hungarians required a lot of emotions.
“It’s a difficult day emotionally. The first match was no less draining than the second: palms and the whole body were wet. It’s even harder feeling when you can’t change anything. The French are professionals and they played until the end. Yesterday they joked that if our fans root for them, they will try to win. That’s what happened – they competed until the end and showed that they are a good team.
There were nerves in our match but we got the win and saved the leaders. We have a few hours less rest than the Bosnians, but we finally have an opportunity in our hands that we didn’t have at one time. We will do everything to take advantage of the opportunity,” said the strategist.
– How and where did you watch the French match?
– At the beginning – in the hotel, later – in the arena.
– Will the French need to buy wine?
– I can’t say that Collet is a friend, but an old acquaintance. Cool guys, they won – we will have to thank them somehow.
– How long did D. Sabonis need such a match?
– He calmed down his emotions a bit and doesn’t waste his energy and concentrates on things on the pitch. We still need to improve when he puts the ball behind the basket. He needed this kind of match and it is at the right time.
– Why was the team nervous in the first part?
– Probably related to the French match. For us, it was like the first meeting of the playoffs, because we all have to win. When it comes to quality, I have something to cling to. We have taken the point and move on.
– What did not satisfy?
– In the first part, we made the same mistakes, there were psychological mistakes in the defense, where we did not follow the plan a little, the players from the bench performed worse.
– What caused such a big difference between the reserve and starting five members?
– We saved the minutes of Jonos and Brazdeikis, because Ignas feels minor ailments. Those who play less, it’s hard for them to go out and play good games. He had a chance to warm up today, so if needed tomorrow, he will step on the floor and help.
– What is the upcoming match?
– It will be a very physical match. We saw that the Bosnians play with a tall and physical formation, and in defense they rest when defending the zone. This gives power to the attack. There will be work to overcome their physicality and zone defense.
– What can be learned from the French?
– Assurance. I liked that they played the ball patiently, created good chances and used their advantages.
– In the third quarter, the Bosnian zone defense knocked the French out of their tracks. How worried are you that your players didn’t shoot 3-pointers today?
– We will have to move the ball well and try to beat that zone defense. On the one hand, she is adventurous because she can get the shot and not control the rebounds. The other side is that the players are rested and have more energy to attack. Will have to adjust tomorrow.
– What have you prepared for J. Musa?
– It’s good that several players played in the “window” against him. We didn’t succeed in the first match, but we managed in the second. We know how he can attack and I can admit that his improved game has greatly contributed to the success of Bosnian basketball in this championship.