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Lithuania not giving up first place chase
GRAN CANARIA (FIBA Basketball World Cup) - Renaldas Seibutis and Jonas Kazlauskas made a dispirited pair as they trudged into the press conference following their team's 82-75 loss to Australia.
Lithuania were hit by a high-pressure buzzsaw in the opening half, giving a 19-point deficit and seemingly the chance to claim first place in Group D.
"We couldn't stop their game, stop their fast-break," said Seibutis.
"We knew that Australia is playing strong basketball, strong defense, but we just let them play what they want, to play fastbreak with outlet passes, and this 19 points after two quarters put us in a bad position."
Kazlauskas was most disappointed with his team's poor approach to the Boomers' intense pressing defense.
It was a difficult game, we lost concentration. - Kazlauskas
"We made 22 turnovers and that is too many for this kind of game, and we lost the rebounding which made it difficult for us."
The Green Machine made their trademark third-quarter comeback, outscoring the Aussies 28-15 behind their own defensive pressure, bringing the big crowd at Gran Canaria to life, but not impressing Kazlauskas.
"We should be playing better for three of the four quarters. I would prefer to lose the third quarter but win the game," he said.
"We came back, but when we did I think we spent too much energy."
While the Lithuanians now look destined to finish second or third in the group, Seibutis is not giving up hope, buoyed by the many upsets and close calls at this year's FIBA Basketball World Cup.
"The group isn't finished yet, we still have two games left," he said.
"Some teams are winning games and some teams are losing games, so we just have to keep together in the next two games.
"I think it's just too early to start counting the points."