Article

Lithuania qualify for FIBA World Cup after double-overtime win

18 setembro 2018 04:38

Lithuania secured their place at next year's FIBA Basketball World Cup thanks to a dramatic double-overtime 95-93 win over Netherlands.

Greece, Germany and the Czech Republic confirmed their qualification on Sunday and, 24 hours later, Lithuania became the fourth European nation to book their ticket to China.

With the game tied at 75-75 after four quarters, the sides could still not be separated following the first extra period and, with five seconds left in the next, Mantas Kalnietis drained the decisive three-pointer.

Lithuania have finished third and fourth at the past two editions of the tournament but Kalnietis called for improvement after his side's narrow success.

"It's a two-fold feeling. We are happy to have a ticket to China. It wasn't the best game quality wise and a lot of psychological mistakes were made, where concentration was at fault," he said.

"They are a team that like to play fast and can live off our turnovers. And they did. We won in Croatia not being the favourites, having played well as a team on defence. We came into the game with the wrong mindset and that no longer happens in Europe.

"If you relax for the slightest moment, they strike. Especially without our key players in Jonas [Valanciunas] and Domantas [Sabonis], we cannot afford not playing at our best."

As well as the European quartet, Nigeria and Tunisia have already secured a spot at next year's finals, along with hosts China.

Elsewhere in the European section of qualifying on Monday there were wins for 2006 champions Spain, as well as Italy and Turkey, while New Zealand and Australia both emerged victorious to improve to 7-1 in the Asian sector.

In the Americas, the United States crushed Panama 78-48 and Argentina were too strong for Puerto Rico 106-84.

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