The team led by Valanciunas and Sabonis, the penultimate hurdle to compete for the medals for the seventh consecutive Eurobasket
Two games away from being able to compete for the medals for the seventh consecutive Eurobasket, Spain will play the passage to the quarter-finals against Lithuania next Saturday (20:45 CET). The team led by Jonas Valanciunas and Domantas Sabonis, who surprisingly finished fourth in their group in the first stage, is a stronger team than the team led by Sergio Scariolo in the quarter-finals – the winner of Spain-Lithuania awaits Croatia or Finland – after the team won the lead in Tbilisi.
After suffering a single defeat, against Belgium, in a match in which Spain lacked intensity and crashed from the outside, the current world champion will find a major stumbling block in Lithuania, but victory is achievable for the Spaniards if they are able to take the Baltic. towers and offer a good collective version. Spain lost the two friendlies prior to the European Championship against Lithuania (77-82 in Las Palmas and 78-76 in Vilnius), the first characterized by their poor shooting success and the second by their inability to defend a rival he has one of the best indoor pairs on the continent and although he is very erratic with the triples, he can also destroy from the perimeter.
Although Lithuania lost its first three Eurobasket games, against Slovenia, France and Germany (after two extras), it did not suffer from Hungary and Bosnia, with the points and sacks of Valanciunas, one of the best scorers and the second highest rebounder in the championship (11.4 rebounds average), against whom Willy Hernangómez (7.4 rebounds), his teammate on the Pelicans, will have to put in double the effort. Domantas Sabonis also shines in the battle under the boards, so not only Willy, who always reacts to this European Championship, but also Usman Garuba, Juancho Hernangómez and Jaime Pradilla will have to make their own inner contribution to keep the great Lithuanian star to a minimum and the son of Arvydas who played for Unicaja.
Thanks to their partner in the zone, Lithuania is the second strongest team in the Eurobasket in rebound, only surpassed by Croatia -Spain is fourth- but Scariolo’s team appears in the round of 16 with a boost of confidence after their all-important win against Turkey that made it the first in the group to face a more affordable a priori final phase in Germany. It was Alberto Díaz, the team’s second baseman after Lorenzo Brown, who decided such a transcendental victory in the last seconds on the last day, and the match director from Malaga should also be important against the Lithuanians with his defense against the young Barça player Rokas Jokubaitis.
Source: La Verdad