Lithuania won World Championships U21 2005 (Photo: FIBA)
Levon Kendall's 40 points upset
USA and put them out of medal
position range (Photo: FIBA)
Lithuania Champion !!! - Aug 15, 2005
Seibutis scored a couple of free throws with the time expired, breaking the tie
at 63 points, and giving Lithuania the 2005 U-21 title over Greece.
Before this, Lithuania and Greece played a defensively dominated game, with poor
shooting percentages due to very strong and physical defenses. No team had a
lead larger than six points and both teams failde to score in the 98 seconds
prior the end of the game. Seibutis, Lithuanian best player won the tournament
MVP award and was part of the ideal team, alongoside forward Yotam Halperin
(Israel), Levon Kendall (Canada) and Greeks Konstantinos Vasileiadis and Loukas
Seibutis and Brabauskas led Lithuania with 14 points apiece and Arturas Jomantas
added 12 points and 10 boardsPanagiotis Vasiloupoulos led Greece with 22 points
and Konstantinos Vasileiadis added 17 and Loukas Mavrokefalidis 13.
In the third place match, Canda outscored Australia 79-74, for his second
surprising game of the tournament (before they beat USA in quarterfinals) Levon
kendall led Canada with 15 points, Vladimir Kuljanin added 12 and Andre Rautins
added 11. Australia was led by Brad Newley with 17 points And Aleksandar Maric
added 16, but Canada controlled the tempo of the game from the tip off to the
USA beat Argentina easily in the fifth place match 111-85, Argentina turned the
ball over a lot again and USA hit 11 three pointer, Jonathan Reddick led USA’s
five players with 22 points (six three pointers) while Leonardo Mainoldi led
Argentina with 21 points and seven boards.
In the first game of the day, Puerto Rico finished seventh after beating
Slovenia 86-77 with a balanced attack where five players socred in double digit
led by Jesus Verdejo (19) and Jose Barea (18), Mensud Julevic led Sloveinia with
65-63 (Babrauskas 14, Seibutis 14, Jomantas 12+10r, Maciulis 11,
Kavaliauskas 9+5r, Silinskis 3+6r, Jankunas 2+8r, Prekevicius 0, Anisimov 0,
Alijevas 0 - Vasilopoulos 22+6r, Vasileiadis 17, Mavrokefalidis 13+6r,
Apostolidis 4, Xanthopoulos 3+5a, Zefkilis 2+7r, Vougioukas 2, Morfis 0, Sourlis
0, Angelopoulos 0)
Lithuania is the World Youth Basketball Championship. They beated the Greek team
65-63. The hero of the game was Renaldas Seibutis, who made the two free throw
when the match was finished. Referees were in doubt if the clock was over or it
was not. Finally, Seibutis earn the MVP Award.
It was a very tough match, with low field goal porcentajes. Each rebound was
battled as the last one. Defence was predominant thru the game. There were to
many turnovers and fouls.
Greece did a pretty good zone defence, but they could not find his first
offensive option, Konstantinos Vasileiadis until the center of the third
quarter, when he sank his first two points. Brabauskas and Maciulius were the
key to keep the difference for Lithuania. Vasileiadis hit two three pointers in
a row and it was important to Greece to take two points advantage. But Seibutis
was unstoppable and could make the difference.
With 1.23 minutes remaining, Vasileios Xanthopoulos made two points and had an
extra free throw, which could sank. After that Seibutis finished the game with
two free throws.
HC Lithuania: Ramunas Butautas "I would like to thank and congratulate Greece
and its coach for their great job. It was a tough game, based in the defensive
aspect. We had troubles with the shooters. The offensive was difficult for us
because of the very hard Greek’s defence. It was a tied game. We are very
HC Greece: Manos Manouselis "I congratulate Lithuania for this Championship.
Really, they were the best team. I will never forget, in my entire life, what I
have lived with my players along these days. A Greek’s philosopher said “succeed
is not just winning, also do the best effort”. Our team will sleep quiet
79-74 (Kendall 15+9r, Kuljanin 12+10r, Rautins 11, Gallimore 10+7r - Newley
17, Maric 16+9r, Markovic 10)
Australia felt the great blow of not being in the finals and Canada took
advantage of this, using its fast and powerful game style, and could win, 79 to
74. This way, the North American team won the Bronze Medal in the U21 World
HC Canada Dave Crook: "Obviously, it was a great game because we won. Australia
has a spectacular performance in this tournament. Luckily, today we could defeat
them. We did not think that we would achieve this stage after been defeated by
teams like Argentina. But on these days we worked in the offensive and the
effectiveness in the perimeter. I always believe in my players; they have good
skills and quality."
111-85 (Redick 22, J.Gray 16, R.Gray 15+8r, Frazekas 15+7r, Withers 14 -
Mainoldi 21+7r, Sandes 15+6r, Rivero 10+5r, Vay 10)
An overwhelming game, full of luxury, dunks and spectaculars actions, with a
high effectiveness in three points shots, permitted United States to beat
Argentina, 111 to 85, and to obtain the 5th position in the U21 World
HC USA Phil Martelli: "After the disappointment of not being in the finals, we
went to the court thinking in recovering our game style. We did the right thing
in both sides of the court. In the second half, we wanted to finish quickly,
because we had made an important difference. As a balance in this tournament, I
must say that 11 of 12 players have chances to be included in the NBA. We are
leaving this Championship very disappointed because we did our best in the court
to win the gold medal."
Puerto Rico -
86-77 (Verdejo 19, Barea 18+8r+9a, Galindo 14+6r, Lopez 11+7r - Julevic 19,
Lorbek 14, Rizvic 14, Fon 12+6r)
Puerto Rico changed its image and concluded his participation in the U21
Championship ranking 7th. Even when Zagorac did not play, Slovenians made a
little difference, but at the end Puerto Rico team showed more victory´s
appetite, and with Verdejo´s and Lopez´s contributions closed the game without
HC Puerto Rico Carlos Calcano: "In this tournament we did not achieve the
results that we had planned at the beginning. But the last game was good and
that motivated us. We lost against teams that now are in the finals. We did our
best to represent our country. The players put a lot of energy to reach the 7th
position. Sometimes the nerves played against ourselves, but today we played
more relax. I thank Mar del Plata and his people; they encouraged us all the
Lithuania and Greece will figh for the gold - Aug 14, 2005
Lithuania did not have bigger problems in the semifinal game against
undefeated (so far) Australia, beating them by 23 points. Lithuania show very
effective team game with 4 players scoring double figures, while
Jankunas (205-F-84, agency:
Interperformances) had impressive double-double (15 points and 15 rebounds).
In the other semifinal game Greece managed to get victory over Canada 74-61,
stopping hero of the game against USA -
(210-F-84), who had just 8 points.
In other games USA outscored Puerto Rico by 20 points, host Argentina gave no
chance to Slovenia with comfortable 70-43 victory, and Nigeria upset Israel
110-104 in 9th place game.
74-61 (Vasileiadis 18, Mavrokefalidis 17+10r, Vasilopoulos 15+6r - Rautins
14, Francis 12, Kendall 8+7r)
A strong defensive work, a great ball handling in offensives and a winner spirit
were the keys in another spectacular Greek triumph. Greece beat Canada 74 to 61
and became the first U21 Championship finalist.
HC Greece: Manos Manouselis "I think it was a game against ourselves, not
because Canada would be a great rival, though we wanted to challenge our
destiny. In the past we reached different semi finals and we lost all of them.
So the way we would think this game it was a huge psychological problem. With
regard to this particular match it was very competitive. Both of us played a
good defence. Our main strengthen were rebounds; that gave us more chances to
win. About the finals I do not have preferences. If the others teams reach this
stage is because they are good."
96-73 (Maciulis 19, Seibutis 17+5r, Jankunas 15+15r, Prekevicius 14 - Carter
19, Markovic 14, Newley 11)
Lithuania ratified his power and versatility with an excellent victory against
Australia, 96 to 73. Consequently, this team classified to the U21 Championship
finals. Tomorrow, at 9.50 PM, Lithuania will face Greece. Australia will try to
rank 3th in a match against Canada.
HC Lituania: Ramunas Butautas "We know Australia very well, because we played
against them a lot of times. They had strong players and good three point’s
shooters. So, our mission in this match was slowed down the rhythm; not played
fast as they wanted. Today, we had a great defence, but also an intelligent
offensive. Now I want to celebrate this huge step; we will have time to think
about tomorrow. I know we are prepared and we will win this tournament."
99-79 (Ray 17+8r, J.Gray 16, Fazekas 9+9r - Barea 23+6r+6a, Vassalo 13+7r,
United States beat Puerto Rico 99 to 79 and continue in the fight to rank 5th in
the Championship. Although Puerto Rico tried to react in the third quarter using
its individual stars, it was more important the American team’s production.
HC USA Phil Martelli "The human nature is hard. It was difficult to go out and
play after yesterday’s defeat. In the second quarter we could make an important
difference and then we could maintain it. With regard to having or not stars on
the team, it is something positive, but also I think that we have played as a
team along this tournament."
70-43 (Mainoldi 17, Treise 17, Sandes 11+12r+5a, Schattmann 11 - Lorbek 13,
Zagorc 11+5r, Rizvic 8)
Argentina obtained a clear victory against Slovenia, 70 to 43, in the last game
of the day. Tomorrow, Argentina will fight for achieve the 5th position in the
final rank and will face United States team. The control in the rebounds, the
aggressive offensive and the high effectiveness in three points shots (50%) were
the winner’s more effective tools. Argentina started the game reaching a
difference of 13 points in seven minutes (19 to 6).
HC Argentina: Gonzalo Garcia "Our defence opened the game for us and Slovenia
could not damage our game style. Over that base we ran and had more options to
choose the right offensives. Really, our defence was the key in this victory.
During this tournament we did not feel a pressure for being locals, and I do not
think that referees have done things in our favour."
110-104 (Usman 34+6r+9a, Gumut 17, Echefu 16+5r - Halperin 34, Eliyahu
24+13r+8a, Nir 10)
In a very tied game, Nigeria got the 9th position in the tournament after
beating Israel 110-104 in overtime (they tied in 93 in regular time). In the OT,
Abubakar Usman came out to an outstanding performance (he scored 9 of his 34
points in the OT), so it was decisive to earn the win.
HC Nigeria: Sanni Ahmed "The players followed very well the instructions that we
had planned before the match. Israel is a very good team in the fast break
points, so we wanted to slow the game’s rhythm and to defend the penetrations in
a tough way. Besides, we could make a lot of points from the paint and the free
Canada upsets USA in the quarterfinals - Aug 13, 2005
This is another step in a chain of USA "accidents" in basketball World as
this time is was underestimated Canada, which stopped over-confident USA. It was
easy to see that all other teams were cheering for Canadians and the coutry,
whose citizen invented basketball, won the game edging Americans 93-90. Another
upset was host Argentina losing the game to Lithuania. But Lithuania has a long
tradition of sending very skilled group of youngsters and many consider this
result as no surprise at all. Host team was a little bit overwhelmed with big
preassure. Australia and Greece will complete semifinals as they beat Slovenia
(89-80) and Puerto Rico (88-63) consecutively.
Israel gave no chance to China in the classifications.
76-63 (Babrauskas 15+5r, Seibutis 15, Jankunas 14+6r, Jomantas 12 - Mainoldi
26+7r, Sandes 10+9r, Weigand 7)
Lithuania became the only team of venue Mar del Plata that has reached the U21
Championship semi finals. This team has beaten Argentina 76 to 63, in the last
game of the day.
HC LTU Ramunas Butautas: "It was a great battle on the court and a great game
for Argentina. I think that this championship’s system is wrong because good
teams, for example Lithuania and Argentina, face each other in quarter finals
and obligatorily one must be out of the tournament. Argentinean team has
brilliant players, and I am sure that they will be stars in the future. Just in
the final quarter we could break Argentinean defence, and theirs fouls and
turnovers helped us to reach the victory."
89-80, OT (Maric 21+8r, Newley 14+6r, Markovic 14 - Zagorac 25+9r, Lorbek
20, Zagorc 19)
In an extremely tied end, Australia beat Slovenia 89 to 80, in over time (the
game was tied in 69), and classified for the semi – finals.
HC AUS Guy Molloy: "We had to think and develop an intense game along the forty
minutes, actually forty five minutes, to be able to win. One of ours strengthens
was the physical preparation and power. The key in this match was respecting our
game style. Regarding the following games I do not want to think about it; I
want to enjoy this victory with my players."
88-63 (Vasileiadis 27+6r, Mavrokefalidis 18+8r, Vasilopoulos 13+6r - Barea
17, Verdejo 15, Galindo 12)
Another terrific collective performance, based in the attitude and defensive
coordination, let Greece to easily beat Puerto Rico, 88 to 63, and to qualify to
the semi – finals of the U21Championship. Tomorrow, Greece will face Canada.
HC GRE Manos Manouselis: "We did a great defence. At Cordoba we won three games
because of our work in the defence aspect. We showed an aggressive game style.
Porto Rican has two amazing players, Ramos and Barea. We were focus on them, we
put pressured on them and we had success in doing that. Besides, we made good
shots and assistances. I would like to congratulate my players. We have already
known Canada and I think it will be a great match."
90-93, OT (Ray 16, Redick 14, T.Gray 13. J.Gray 13, Rondo 12, Gay 10+10r -
Kendall 40 (!!!) +12r, Kuljanin 12+6r, Doornekamp 12+9r, Kou 10)
With one of the most spectaculars individual performance in all the
championship, that one made by the blond forward
(210-F-84) (40 points, 12 rebounds, a three point made and a decisive steal),
Canada gave the tournament’s surprise defeating United Stated 93 to 90, in over
time (the game was tied in 82 points). Extremely tough game where despite role
of underdogs, Canadians took control from the first minutes. USA team stormed
back in 3rd quarter, but Canada managed to tie the game in regular time and get
3-points victory in the final seconds of overtime. The real hero of the game was
(210-F-84), who scored amazing 40 points and grabbed 12 rebounds that evening.
It's worth to mention that Kendall spent most of last season on a bench in one
of USA colleges (Pittsburgh), while tonight the selection of American stars from
the same colleges could only congratulate and wonder what was wrong...
HC Can Dave Crook: "We know Canada as a rival; to win you have to play perfectly
all the game, the forty minutes. We were closed to do that. About the next
games, we know Greece very well, is a tough team. We have not played against
Porto Rican until now, but I think that is a great rival."
HC USA Phil Martelli: "Canada´s performance was outstanding. Kendall made forty
points, but as a team they played very well. The defence was exceptional; they
took 16 offensive rebounds. About United States I must say that since the
Olympics we were not able to win to FIBA´s teams. Especially in this game, our
mistake was that we made fewer points than they."
9-11th Places Classification:
95-74 (Halperin 24, Eliyahu 21+5r, Limonad 16+10r+5a - Meng 22, Sun 22, Chen
Israel gained a comfortable victory against China 95 to 4 in the ninth position
qualy. China team did not win any game in all the championship and left the
tournament, ranking eleventh.
HC ISR Arik Shibek: "We respect China team because of theirs games here, at Mar
del Plata, and his score against Slovenia. We took this match very seriously,
felling very disappointed because of our failures at Cordoba. It is not easy for
a coach to prepare mentally the team, especially when we lost four games. But
these players came here to win."
Preliminary Round Day 5 Summary - Aug 11, 2005
Australia, the only undefeated team together with USA, upset Argentina in the
last day of eliminations.
USA barely managed to avoid surprising loss by edging Slovenia by 3 points. It
was also overtime, but
(194-G-84) 's 3-pointer was not successful.
76-82 (Sandes 23+8r, Schattmann 18, Alloatti 11+9r - Markovic 20+5r, Newley
19+6r, Bruce 14)
ARG H.Coach Gonzalo García: "It is evident that the game was divided into two
parts. What we didn’t do in the first half and what we did in the second. We
didn’t have offensive or defensive answers to cope with this great team which
has shown why it is one of the best formative teams. It is good that we left
with the image we gave in the second half so that we face the following round
66-78 (Halperin 22, Limonad 16 - Gallimore 24, Rautins 14, Blackwood 12)
CAN H.Coach Dave Crook: "It is better to win than to lose. We played better in
the second half and our defence was stronger. It was very important to have
Andrew Rautins that hadn’t played in the previous games"
72-90 (Gumut 19+4r, Odiakosa 14+6r, Usman 14+7r+8a - Ramos 18+4r, Barea
17+6r+7a, Galindo 14+4r)
PUR H.Coach Carlos Calcaño "I am glad and satisfied with the effort of my team;
we had a good beginning in this championship. In this round we improved our
level, from the bottom to the top. I would like to congratulate Nigeria, they
played well. Now, we are analyzing the next round, when we will have to play
good defences and be smart in the offensive."
96-75 (Maciulis 12, Jankunas 10+6r, Kavaliauskas 10+5r, Babrauskas 10+4r -
Luo 14+4r, Meng 14, Zhang 12+5r)
Lithuania controled the boards (42 rebounds) and and was better in almost every
single statistical category than the Chinese. The victory was never in doubt and
coach Ramunas Butautas used all 12 players of his team.
Jonas Maciulis: "We didn't play at our best, we could have done much better.
China had an effective Zone defence. At least we played better in the second
82-79 (Withers 15, Roberts 14+5r, Ray 12 - Zagorac 15+8r, Venta 10+5r)
USA H.Coach Phil Martelli: "In any level that basketball is played, professional
or college level, not always who plays better is who wins. Today, that has
happened. Slovenia had a very good performance; we did not expect a tied game
like this one. His good production it will be seen in the tournament."