BRATISLAVA – Lithuania bounced back from their Semi-Finals upset against Serbia in the FIBA U18 European Championship 2017 to claim bronze after holding off Turkey 97-88 in a nail-biting overtime finish at the Hant Arena in Bratislava.
2000-born Erikas Venskus was the unlikely hero for the Lithuanians, making the game-tying basket at the end of regulation and finishing the game with a game-high 22 points and 7 rebounds.
The back-up center tallied up 15 points in the fourth quarter and overtime to shock Turkey who had led for the vast majority of the game. Arnas Velicka collected 16 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists for the bronze medalists, while Lukas Uleckas gave himself the best possible birthday present with 15 points and 6 assists.
Yigitcan Saybir paced Turkey with 21 points and 8 rebounds, with Eray Akyuz just falling short on a double-double after scoring 12 points and dishing out 9 assists.
“We turned on our concentration, started working harder on defense, making all the hustle players and got rewarded for that with a medal,” spoke the team’s forward Grantas Vasiliauskas.