Lithuania completed a clean sweep of their first eight games in the FIBA World Cup Qualifiers on Monday to punch their tickets to China in 2019. The win was against the Netherlands and the Dutch were in no mood to serve the win on a silver platter. It was a critical game for the Netherlands (3-5) because it would have put them at 4-4 and that much closer to be one of the top three teams to come out of Group J.
Lithuania joins Greece, Germany, and the Czech Republic as Europe’s first four nations to secure qualification to the FIBA World Cup.
This was truly a heartbreaking loss for the Dutch squad. Throughout the game, they asserted their dominance in the paint and played with furious passion as they fought to force overtime. Twice.
In the second extra period, Lithuania’s team captain Mantas Kalnietis pushed his team to victory by sinking a clutch 3-pointer as time expired. He finished with a game-high 21 points. Charlon Kloof was the top scorer for the Netherlands with 19 points and five assists.