FIBA Europe reports in an article that the Lithuanian girls beat Russia to capture their first U18 European Championship. The final outcome of the game was 63 -57.
Any time Lithuania wins a tournament in basketball, it is time to celebrate. It is even better that it was against Russia. I enjoy the fact that Lithuania continues to dominate at basketball internationally.
I enjoy the fact that the players who play for Lithuania are Lithuanians. I noticed some countries have players who are not natural citizens. They are made citizens so they can play for their national team. For example, on the German Olympic team, Chris Kaman, was made a citizen so he could play for their team during the 2008 Olympics.
I ran across an article on CNNSI that said “The Cavaliers have declined permission for center Zydrunas Ilgauskas to play for Lithuania in the Olympics.” It was funny that last summer when I was watching EuroBasketball 2007, I did not see Ilgauskas there. The top four teams from this tournament qualified for the Olympics and Lithuania took the bronze medal. Lithuania had only one loss to Russia in the semifinal game during this tournament. Lithuania does not need Ilgauskas to win. They proved it during Eurobasketball and every country that is playing in the Olympics better watch out for Lithuania.
I have always routed for Lithuania during the Olympics. Lithuania won the bronze during the 1992, 1996, and 2000 Olympics. Lithuania came in fourth during the 2004 Olympics.
I really enjoyed watching Eurobasketball last summer and Lithuania has some big names on there team such as Darius Songaila, Linas Kleiza, and Sarunas Jasikevicius. Other key players included Rimantas Kaukenas, Darjusas Lavrinovicius, Ksistofas Lavrinovicius, and Ramunas Siskauskas. Lithuania played many other teams from Europe with NBA players and Lithuania dominated.
Lithuania knows how to play international basketball and they will be ready for the Olympics.