Lithuania showed why they are one of the favorites to earn a ticket to London after a masterful performance in their debut, while Macedonia bounced back from an opening day defeat to stay in a hunt for the coveted ticket to the 2012 London Olympics.
Lithuania jumped on the gun in the opening period and showed tremendous composure the rest of the way to score an impressive 94-78 win in day two of the 2012 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament for Men in Caracas, Venezuela.
Aware of the tremendous firepower of Venezuela due to terrific crowd support, Lithuania had a sizzling start as they took a 14-4 lead, but the host battled back and even took a one-point lead in the second period.
However, Lithuania, led by veteran Sarunas Jasikevicius, unleashed a 13-2 rally to end the first half on top by 13 points and they never looked back, silencing the crowd in Caracas.
Linas Kleiza had a tremendous offensive night, scoring 28 points to go with five rebounds, while Mantas Kalnietis added 13 points and eight assists.
Martynas Pocius scored 12 points, while Jasikevicius and Jonas Maciulis added 11 points apiece with the latter adding eight rebounds and five assists for Lithuania, who are tipped to top Group B.
Meanwhile, Macedonia bounced back from a painful defeat against Angola with a dominating 84-62 win over New Zealand.
Bo McCalebb was all over the place as he finished with 23 points, 11 assists, three rebounds, and three steals, while Pero Anic provided the much-needed inside presence, racking up 17 points and 10 rebounds for Macedonia, who suffered an 88-84 defeat against Angola in day one.
On the other hand, Asian countries Jordan and Korea bid goodbye to their Olympic hopes after suffering their second defeat against Puerto Rico, 93-52, and Dominican Republic, 95-85, respectively.
2012 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament for Men Day Two Results
- Korea 85 – 95 Dominican Republic
- Macedonia 84 – 62 New Zealand
- Jordan 52 – 93 Puerto Rico
- Venezuela 82 – 100 Lithuania