Brazdeikis, Lithuania back up Spain

2022-08-16T21:39:46+00:00 2022-08-17T02:49:58+00:00.

Giannis Askounis

16/Aug/22 21:39

Withstanding a furious rally leads Lithuania to the win in Gran Canaria

By Johnny Askounis/

A 16-point advantage turned into a tie late in the fourth quarter but Lithuania held on for yet another friendly win Tuesday evening.

The team coached by Kazys Maksvytis earned the victory, 82-77, visiting Spain in Gran Canaria. Former NBA player and Zalgiris newcomer Ignas Brazdeikis was the top scorer tallying 19 points and also dished out a game-high seven assists. Domantas Sabonis of the Sacramento Kings added 11 points, ten rebounds, and six assists.

Fellow NBA star and captain Jonas Valanciunas was clutch down the stretch to end up with ten points and nine rebounds.

Good news on the losing end of the friendly contest was Houston Rockets’ Usman Garuba recovering from the left ankle injury and producing six points to go along with three rebounds and two steals in eight minutes. Valanciunas’ teammate at the New Orleans Pelicans, Willy Hernangomez posted a 22-point, 10-rebound double-double. Juancho Hernangomez of the Toronto Raptors followed with 17 points and nine rebounds.

Packing in the fifth win in prep games, Lithuania will host Spain in Vilnius Thursday. Official action takes over next Wednesday with an away game versus Hungary closely followed by a home game opposite Montenegro at the top of Group K of the 2023 FIBA World Cup European Qualifiers. The preliminary round of the 2022 EuroBasket features Slovenia, France, Germany, Hungary, and Bosnia-Herzegovina in Cologne.

La Roja will face Iceland at home and the Netherlands on the road in World Cup Qualifiers Group L action before fully focusing on the next edition of EuroBasket. Competing in Group A and Tbilisi, the team coached by Sergio Scariolo will be tested versus Bulgaria, Georgia, Belgium, Montenegro, and Turkey.