In a dynamic start to the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023, Lithuania demonstrated their prowess by securing a commanding 93-67 victory over Egypt at the Mall of Asia Arena. Despite the absence of key players, Lithuania’s solid performance showcased their depth and cohesion as they controlled the game from the very beginning.
Led by Margiris Normantas’ outstanding display, Lithuania’s dominance was evident throughout the match. Normantas’s impressive 18 points, including three three-pointers, led all scorers and set the tone for Lithuania’s resounding win. The Baltic giants wasted no time in establishing their lead, surging ahead to a 26-12 advantage in the first quarter.
A pivotal player for Lithuania, Jonas Valanciunas, played a pivotal role in their early lead, contributing 11 of the first 26 points in less than six minutes of play. Valanciunas’s remarkable performance culminated in a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds in just under 17 minutes of action.
Lithuania’s dominance continued into the second quarter, where they expanded their lead to a substantial 38-19. Although Egypt managed to trim the deficit to 10 points at one point, Lithuania maintained their control with a halftime advantage of 46-34, thanks in part to Ignas Brazdeikis’s buzzer-beating shot.
As the game progressed, Lithuania’s grip on the lead tightened even further. Their advantage extended to 18 points at the end of the third quarter, and they ultimately secured a 27-point advantage with an 84-57 scoreline.
While Egypt displayed pride and effort, Lithuania’s cohesive team play proved overwhelming. Assem Marei and Amr Gendy stood out with 14 and 13 points respectively for Egypt, but their efforts weren’t enough to overcome Lithuania’s dominance.
Lithuania’s head coach, Kazys Maksvytis, emphasized the significance of the win as the team’s confidence grew with this important victory. Looking ahead to the tournament, Maksvytis acknowledged the need for improvements in both defense and offense.
With Lithuania’s convincing win, they now share the top spot in Group D with Montenegro, both teams boasting 1-0 records. The European teams’ strong performances set the stage for an exciting showdown between Lithuania and Mexico in the upcoming Gameday 2, as they aim to continue their winning streaks and solidify their positions in the competition.