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29 June
04 July, 2021
11 Domantas Sabonis (LTU)
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Sabonis hopes home fans in Kaunas can fuel pursuit to Tokyo

KAUNAS (Lithuania) - Domantas Sabonis hopes the home crowd at the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Kaunas can help inspire Lithuania to success.

One of six teams vying for a qualifying spot to Tokyo, Lithuania have a strong roster at their disposal with the added advantage of home support to provide extra impetus come crunch time.

"We're playing at home, we've got our fans and we're just excited to be here," commented Sabonis. "I hope we can get as many fans in here as possible. It's going to be a fun summer."

The two-time NBA All-Star arrives off the back of another impressive season in America with Sabonis averaging career bests of 20.3 points and 6.7 assists per game in his fourth year with Indiana Pacers.

Sabonis made his Senior debut with the national team in 2015 and continues to be on hand to answer the call - last suiting up at the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019.

Lithuania have competed at every Men's Olympic Basketball Tournament since 1992 with Sabonis part of the roster last time out at Rio 2016 as a bright 20-year-old prospect out of Gonzaga.

Very little additional motivation is needed for those competing here this week and Sabonis has no doubt about where he wants the summer to take him.

"It would be amazing to go to Tokyo," he said. "Another Olympics for Lithuania as a country would mean a lot to us. 

"Our preparation has been a challenge, but I think that's the same for everybody. We are just getting together and trying to find that chemistry as soon as possible."

Lithuania open the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament in front of their home fans in Kaunas on Tuesday when they take on Venezuela.