Head Coach Kestutis Kemzura announced the final list of players of Lithuania that will compete in the upcoming 2010 FIBA World Basketball Championship that will start less than a week from now, August 28 in Turkey.
Coach Kemzura, who believes that his team is one of the favorites in their group, expectedly included big names in the lineup like Linas Kleiza, who played for the Denver Nuggets for several season before going back to Europe. The sweet-shooting power forward was recently signed by the Toronto Raptors.
Lietuvos Rytas top-gunner Martynas Gecevicius also earned a slot in the team, which also includes Zalgris Kaunas and big man Tadas Klimavicius, who are both having a terrific performance this year.
Renaldas Seibutus, who was the Most Valuable Player when Lithuania bagged the gold medal in the U21 FIBA World Championship in 2005, was also selected to be a part of the team.
Notably missing from the squad were veteran Olympians like Mindaugas Lukauskis and Arvydas Eitutavicius, who both played a big role in Lithuania’s campaign in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
“The decision was based on our positional needs,” said Kemzura, when asked about the decision to cut the two veteran players.
“We couldn’t find a place where Lukauskis could use his skills to the maximum. Eitutavicius, on the other hand, just lacked some experience at the highest level.” he added.
Lithuania belongs to Group D of the tournament and will go up against Spain, France, Lebanon, New Zealand, and Canada in the preliminary rounds.
Lithuania Final Roster for World Championship (August 28 – September 12)
- Martynas Gecevicius
- Martynas Pocius
- Simas Jasaitis
- Mantas Kalnietis
- Tomas Delininkaitis
- Renaldas Seibutis
- Jonas Maciulis
- Linas Kleiza
- Paulius Jankunas
- Tadas Klimavicius
- Robertas Javtokas
- Martynas Andriuskevicius