Lithuania, Macedonia win at basketball Euros
LJUBLJANA, Slovenia (AP) — Jonas Valanciunas had 11 points and 10 rebounds to lead Lithuania past Baltic neighbor Latvia 67-59 at the European basketball championship on Friday.
The Toronto Raptors center and FIBA’s young player of the year helped Lithuania dominate the boards, 48-26, to earn its second victory.
Latvia, which got 11 points apiece from Kristaps Janicenoks and Janis Blums, trailed by eight at halftime but drew even in the third quarter before Lithuania pulled away again. It was Latvia’s first loss and both teams are now 2-1. Latvia took 31 shots from 3-point range but made only eight.
In the late match, Macedonia put itself back into contention for a place in the second round by beating Serbia 89-75.
Guard Bo McCaleb paced Macedonia with 27 points, while Pero Antic added 16 points and 14 rebounds. Macedonia, a semifinalist two years ago, notched its first win after two losses, while Serbia is now 2-1.
Danilo Andjusic had 19 points for the Serbs.
In an earlier Group B game, Bosnia-Herzegovina overcame a 10-point deficit in the final quarter to beat Montenegro 76-70 for its first victory.
Also, Ukraine beat Germany 88-83 to all but book a place in the second round with its third victory in three games, while Belgium beat Britain 76-71 in a Group A game in Ljubljana and France eased past winless Israel 82-63.
France got 13 points from Alexis Ajinca and 12 from Tony Parker to improve to 2-1.
In Jesenice, Nihad Djedovic sank a pair of key free throws with 16 seconds remaining and added a spectacular layup to seal Bosnia’s victory over its Balkan rival.
Djedovic finished with 13 points. Mirza Teletovic led Bosnia with 18 points and 11 rebounds, while Nemanja Gordic sparked Bosnia’s comeback by adding 17 points, all of them in the second half.
Bojan Dubljevic led Montenegro with 16 points, while American-born guard Tyrese Rice had 13 but missed three 3-point attempts in the final minute.
Montenegro has one win and two losses in Group B.
In Lubljana, Sergii Gladyr scored 25 points to lead Ukraine past Germany, which dropped its second straight after upsetting France in the opener.
Ukraine is the only unbeaten team in Group A.
Gladyr made five of his 10 three-point attempts, while American-born guard Eugene Jeter added 19 points for Ukraine.
Heiko Schaffartzik led Germany with 22 points and 11 assists, while Niels Giffey added 16 points.
“The disappointment is great, but we have to concede that Ukraine was the better team,” said Germany’s Robin Benzing, who finished with 18 points. “We never got into our rhythm.”
In a game that saw 12 lead changes, Sacha Massot led five Belgians in double figures with 15 points against Britain. Daniel Clark had 19 points and nine rebounds for Britain.
Belgium moved to 2-1, while Britain fell to 1-2.
Three teams from each group advance to the second round.