Mindaugas Kuzminskas: “Did you see how many fans came to the game?”

2023-09-07T17:26:34+00:00 2023-09-07T17:26:34+00:00.

Cesare Milanti

07/Sep/23 17:26


The 33-year-old Lithuanian forward spoke after the win against Slovenia

By Cesare Milanti / info@eurohoops.net

MANILA, Philippines – Being once again a factor for Lithuania by scoring 14 points with 4/4 from beyond the arc, Mindaugas Kuzminskas helped his national team get the 100-84 win against Slovenia to keep fighting for the 5th spot at the 2023 FIBA World Cup.

Talking with Eurohoops after the impressive win against Slovenia, the Lithuanian forward praised the support in Manila. “Even though we don’t fight for medals or we can’t qualify for the Olympic Games directly, you saw many fans come to the game, right?”, he asked. “We must fight for them, for our pride. At the same time, we must fight for those people who during the whole tournament supported us back in Lithuania, skipping school and work. We are playing for them”, he added.

After losing against Serbia in the Quarter-Finals, the Lithuanian national team bounced back, sharing the ball well with a total of 28 assists, and shooting 56.0% from deep. “We have been playing like this for the whole World Cup, except for one game. But that game was the most important, and that’s painful. Even today when we were playing well, memories were coming back to the game two days ago, thinking what happened”, Kuzminskas added.

Now, Lithuania awaits the challenge against Luca Banchi’s Latvia, in what will be a fight between brothers. “I think I would lie if I said it wasn’t a surprise. It was a surprise, and I think for a lot of people it was a surprise we were there too. We don’t have a lot of players. We call each other Braliukas, which means “brothers”, our countries are like that. But only outside of the court, inside of it it’s always a huge fight every time”, the 33-year-old player finally stated on the clash against the Baltic neighbours.

The former Olimpia Milan forward has been one of the most intriguing players to watch at the 2023 FIBA World Cup, averaging 11.0 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 1.9 assists per game while shooting 75.0% from two, 48.0% from deep, and 84.6% at the charity stripe.


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