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Lithuania beats Belgium (84-71)

After the big win against Czech Republic, the Lions played against Lithuania this Sunday.

If the Lions started the game against Czech Republic very well, this Sunday the first minutes were for Lithuania (14-4 after 4′). After a very energetic time-out from coach Gjergja, the Lions made a good run (14-10 after 6′). Thanks to Retin Obasohan (10 points in the 1st quarter), the Lions were only down by 5 (20-15 after 10′).

In the second quarter, Lithunia took advantage of an unsportsmanlike foul to increase the gap (26-17 after 12′). The Lions committed too many fouls (6 fouls in 6 minutes) and the Lithuanians were up by 10 (42-32 after 17′). Despite an alley-oop from Michael Gilmore, Belgium was unable to cut the deficit (49-36 after 20′). Lithuania scored 16 field goals in this first half, 11 in the paint (!) and 5 from 3’s.

After the break, the Lions played better in defense, but they couldn’t score enough (58-44 after 26′). Retin Obasohan scored 6 points in the last 2 minutes, but Belgium continued to suffer in the paint (67-51).

In the last quarter, Lithuania continued to punish Belgium inside, especially with Laurynas Birutis (2M13). If the Lithuanians were better today, it was important to keep the point-average advantage from the first game (+21). But Lithuania was in front in this point-average with 5 minutes to play (79-57 after 35′). Thanks to some 3’s from Jean-Marc Mwema and Hans Vanwijn, Belgium won the last quarter but lost the game (84-71).

Once again Retin Obasohan was the leader of the Lions. He recorded 21 points, 4 rebounds and 2 assists. Alexandre Libert had 11 points while Manu Lecomte scored 10.

For Lithuania Eimantas Bendzius (2M07) scored 19 points. Former Knicks player Mindaugas Kuzminskas recorded 13 points and 8 rebounds.

Belgium is still at the top of Group C with 3 wins and 1 loss. But the Lions are only 1 game ahead of Denmark (point-average = +16 for Belgium) and Lithuania (point-average in favor of Belgium).

The fifth and sixth game of the group will be held in February 2021, still in a “bubble”. Belgium is a candidate for the organization of the meeting, like Lithuania. The Lions will have to face Denmark (20/2) and the Czech Republic (22/2). It will only take one victory during this international window to qualify for the Eurobasket 2022.

Full boxscore

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