Valanciunas, Sabonis and more: Lithuania locked, loaded and ready

    3 min to read

    This roster packs serious talent.

    VILNIUS (Lithuania) - Baltic juggernauts Lithuania will be loaded with talent and experience when they play at the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament in San Juan.

    Jonas Valanciunas and Domas Sabonis will spearhead Lithuania's bid to win the OQT, which runs from July 2 to July 7.

    Valanciunas was outstanding at last year's World Cup while Sabonis was sorely missed as Lithuania finished sixth. The twin towers will give Lithuania one of the most imposing frontlines at the OQT and at the Olympics, if they qualify.

    There are 14 players that have been invited to the main training camp, including Rokas Jokubaitis, who is in the midst of another solid campaign with Barcelona. The 23-year-old will pull many of the strings at point guard as he attempts to reach the Olympics for the first time.

    Other key figures at the main training camp for Puerto Rico are Tadas Sederkerskis, who excelled in Manila. The 2.06m (6ft 9in) forward was second on the team in minutes per game at 23.2 and second in rebounds at 7.3. He had his best game, 11 points and 11 rebounds, in Lithuania's most impressive victory at the World Cup, a 110-104 triumph over the USA.

    Domantas Sabonis will bring all his strength in the paint

    Also crucially in the squad after missing last summer is Marius Grigonis, a player that gives Lithuania additional firepower on offense. His 14.5 ppg made him the second leading scorer for Lithuania at FIBA EuroBasket 2022 and he finished the tournament with an 15.8 efficiency per game, the third best on the team.

    Mindaugas Kuzminskas, 34, is also in the squad. The 2.06m (6ft 9in) small forward has been a linchpin in the team since FIBA EuroBasket 2013.

    Other players making up the 14 at the main camp will be Lukas Lekavicius, Tomas Dimsa, Deividas Sirvydis, Rokas Giedraitis, Edgaras Ulanovas, Arnas Butkevicius, Donatas Motiejūnas and Laurynas Birutis.

    Lithuania have announced a reserve team that consists of Augustas Marciulionis, Marius Valinskas, Ignas Sargiunas, Laurynas Beliauskas, Martynas Arlauskas, Lukas Kreismontas, Paulius Danusevicius, Rytis Petraitis, Eimantas Bendzius, Ązuolas Tubelis, Dovydas Romancenko, Marekas Blazevicius, Liutauras Lelevicius and Arnas Velicka.

    Lithuania will play in Group A with Mexico and Côte d'Ivoire, while Group B has Puerto Rico, Italy and Bahrain.

    At past OQTs, Lithuania have put in compelling performances. They clinched a spot at the London Games at the OQT in Venezuela in 2012. Lithuania made it to the Final of the Kaunas OQT in 2021 but fell to Slovenia to miss the Olympics for the first time since 1992.


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