By Aris Barkas/ email@example.com
Manila, Philippines – Lithuania versus Montenegro was supposed to be a hard-fought battle between two European powerhouses for first place in Group D, but instead, it was Lithuania who ran away with a convincing win, blowing out the Montenegrins by 20 points and making a statement on the world stage.
FC Barcelona guard and Knicks draftee Rokas Jokubaitis paved the way on the offensive end for Lithuania, scoring 19 points on 9-for-12 shooting to go along with six assists.
“It feels good to represent Lithuania in a World Cup as a starting point guard. I have more responsibilities, but I enjoy playing basketball”, said the 23-year-old to Eurohoops, who has learned a lot in Barcelona from his compatriot and Lithuanian legend, Sarunas Jasikevicius: “There’s pressure when you play in Barcelona […]”, but “it helps a lot to have coach Saras”.
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However, things on a personal level are going to get even more interesting.
The New York Knicks have drafted Rokas Jokubaitis, they are following him closely and while he is expected to stay in Barcelona for next season, he will have the chance to face in the second round of the FIBA World Cup two of his possible future teammates, Jaylen Brunson and Josh Hart.
“Everybody knows the situation. It will be a fun matchup to play against those guys”, Jokubaitis added with a sly smile.