Lithuania unchallenged in second game vs Lebanon

    3 min to read
    Game report
    Eimantas Bendzius

    Lithuania takes the second game of a three-game series against Lebanon.

    KEDAINIAI (Lithuania) - Act two of the three-part showdown between FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament teams went to Lithuania as well with the northern Europeans rolling past Lebanon 105-66 at home in an early summer friendly.

    After a convincing 100-71 victory over the Asians in the first game in Jovana two days ago, Lithuania didn't waste any time and led by 23 points after 10 minutes and never looked back in front of the fans in Kedainiai. Lebanon, who will be playing in the OQT Spain, and Lithuania, one of the top contenders in the OQT Puerto Rico, will face off for a third time on Friday, June 14 in Panevezys, Lithuania.

    If you have missed the first episode, read this:

    Lithuania Rains Threes to Dominate Lebanon

    Lithuania head coach Kazys Maksvytis knows it's early in his preparation and he made three changes to his starting line-up compared to the first game with Paulius Danusevicius and Azuolas Tubelis the only players to start both matchups. Lebanese playcaller Mirodrag Perisic for his part swapped just one player in his first five - Jad Khalil for Ali Mezher.

    The story of the game

    The outcome of the game was never in doubt and both coaches are in the process of determining which players from the current teams could help out when they play their OQTs from July 2-7 as both Lebanon and Lithuania have a number of leaders not yet on board.

    Lithuania suffocated Lebanon early on, giving up just two points in the first 4 minutes. The hosts buried six three-pointers in the first 10 minutes and were ahead 35-12 at the end of the first quarter.

    Just as the first game, Lithuania let up a bit in the second quarter - a 20-20 tie in the first contest - and managed the game in the third period before putting away Lebanon for good with a 24-10 final frame.

    The player of the game

    Laurynas Beliauskas has been the winner of the two friendly games so far. The 25-year-old guard had 17 points with 5 three-pointers to go with 2 rebounds and 3 assists on Monday. He is clearly trying to convince Coach Maksvytis to bring him to the OQT - and make his senior national team debut - as he produced 14 points with 4-of-5 three-point shooting, 3 rebounds, 5 assists and 1 steal in his second look at the Lebanese.

    Lithuania captain Eimantas Bendzius gave it a good go for top player as he scored a team-high 20 points on perfect 5-of-5 shooting and 7-of-7 free throws and also picking up 1 rebound, 4 assists and 2 steals.

    The stats of the game

    Lithuania once again put on an outside shooting display - just like in the first game - as the hosts drained 14 three-pointers in 27 attempts for a blistering 51 percent. Lithuania also forced 19 Lebanon turnovers and were fantastic in punishing the Asians with 29 points off those miscues.

    The takeaways from the game

    Lithuania shared the wealth and Maksvytis got a chance to see everyone contribute as all 12 players scored at least 4 points; 11 played at least 13 minutes; and 10 players grabbed at least 1 rebound.

    For as much as Lithuania dominated the first quarter, Lebanon stayed competitive for much of the game, actually winning the second quarter 23-22 and only losing the third quarter by three points.

    Omari Spellman

    Coach Perisic clearly came to Lithuania with questions but injuries was not something he wanted this early in the process. But both Omari Spellman and Karim Ezzeddine - two players who played at the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 - were forced out of the game in the opening minutes of the third quarter and did not return.

    Sergio El Darwich once again led Lebanon in scoring with 19 points and Gerard Hadidian scored 11 points.

    For the complete schedule of friendly games:

    Tracker: Preparation games for the Olympic Qualifying Tournaments 2024

    FIBA

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