“It’s good that the match was tense, we saw the reaction of the team. We played against a strong team, I was satisfied with the start of the match. It is true that the players from the bench did not get on well. At the beginning of the match, we were stuck with the Spanish doubling. At the end of the match, we decided and won the victory. That’s what preparation is for, so that we can see strengths and weaknesses. The fight for the balls was weak, we got 26 points in the second chances, if not for that, it would have been easier”, said 45-year-old K. Maksvytis after the match.
The Lithuanians started to run ahead already during the first half, when they led 19:4 in the middle of it. Rokas Giedraitis contributed to the successful start with three three-pointers.
After the long break, the scene on the pitch changed a little. The Spaniards began to chase the Lithuanians, and at the end of the third quarter, they reduced the deficit to two points, 53:55.
A persistent fight took place during the decisive quarter, when the Spaniards further reduced the Lithuanian lead to 67:68.
Despite this, Ignas Brazdeikis made a long shot, Domantas Sabonis added two points with a foul by the opponent and it seemed that another Lithuanian victory was already in the pocket 74:69.
However, it was then that the naturalized Spanish-American Lorenzo Brown spoke, who hit a three-pointer, added a two-pointer and with 30 seconds left. equalized the result 76:76 by the end of the match.
Fortunately, I. Brazdeikis successfully broke through on the other side of the field, who once again put the Lithuanians ahead 78:76.
“The plan was not like that,” said K. Maksvytis about the striker’s throw after the match. – M. Grigonis was supposed to play, but he failed, then the ball came to Ignas, and then improvisation followed. He took responsibility and scored points.”
It was already the sixth victory of the Lithuanians in the preparatory cycle.
On Friday, the Lithuanian national team will host the Dutch national team in Vilnius. K. Maksvytis announced that Mindaugas Kuzminskas should play in this match, who was treating a leg injury throughout the training cycle.
– Coach, do you think the Lithuanians will have the strength in the match against the Netherlands on Friday?K. Maksvytis was asked.
– We are playing in the championship format for the last few days. We’ll see, that’s why we’re doing it, to have three matches in four days. We didn’t share the minutes today, we tried to focus on the main ones, tomorrow’s match will show everything.
– It was the second match when I. Brazdeikis started from the bench, how do you assess his performances when he does not start the match from the beginning?
– I think it’s bad. I think there are players who fit in better off the bench. We will respond to this.
– Can Jonas Valančiūnas and Domantas Sabonis, or rather, can at least one of them be on the field for the entire match?
– You can play, but what will happen the next day? During the championship, it will be necessary to save their minutes. In particular, we want to give John more minutes now to get in shape. We faced some difficulties in training, when neither Mindaugas Kuzminskas nor Eigirdas Žukauskas, who have injuries, did not participate.
Tomorrow M. Kuzminskas will make his debut after a long break, E. Žukauskas will have to wait. This means that we are not mobile, but heavy. Gytis Masiulis is not so agile when he plays in the fourth position.
– What happened to E. Žukauskas?
– He got a leg injury, bruised a muscle. He still has to race against time, I hope he can get back to form by the end of next week.
– Did the illness of these two men lead to the fact that this time Martynas Echodas and D. Sabonis played at the same time?
– This was one of the plans, because we haven’t done it yet. We believe that the championship will still require a stronger front line when J. Valančiūnas will not be on the field.
– I. Brazdeikis did not score a single point in the first part of the match, and 16 in the second. What does this say about him?
– He plays better when he starts the match from the beginning. It shows his good character, he didn’t give up from the first half and took the initiative at crucial moments and helped the team.
– When will you announce the final 12?
– Plans were disrupted by injuries. We should now have 14 players. Maybe something more will be revealed on Friday.
– Will the final 12 go to Hungary?
– It is not clear yet.
– When JV, D. Sabonis, I. Brazdeikis and M. Grigonis are on the field, is it difficult to decide who to entrust with the decisive shot?
– All of them are leaders, you have to react to who looks better that day. This time everything was resolved spontaneously.
– How do you rate the crowded arena and the support of the fans?
– We really enjoyed it, it’s great to see such an arena, the anthem performed live.
– Do you already have a visual of the final 12 in your head?
– There is, but we want to focus on 9-10 players who play. As you saw, that’s what we did today. We want the main players to match each other, and the 12 will be revealed that way.