Close losses hurt Lithuania at Nike Global Challenge

Jul 16, 2012 by Print
Close losses hurt Lithuania at Nike Global Challenge
Justas Tamulis - IJT Zalgiris KaunasA pair of two-point defeats to U.S. teams, one of them in overtime, prevented Lithuania from challenging for the title at the Nike Global Challenge, held over the weekend in the United States capital of Washington, D.C. and the neighboring city of Alexandria, Virginia. A total of eight teams at the tournament included Lithuania, Brazil, Canada, China and Puerto Rico as well as three USA teams: East, West and Midwest.

Lithuania, whose team was packed with juniors from Turkish Airlines Euroleague clubs Zalgiris Kaunas and Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius, started off on the right foot, defeating Puerto Rico 83-79 on Friday. In that victory, Tomas Dimsa collected 15 points and 6 assists, while Justas Tamulis scored 14 more. Lithuania led by as many as 17 points in the fourth quarter before Puerto Rico's late run fell short.

In its second game one day later, Lithuania squandered a 14-point lead late in the third quarter before losing overtime, 97-95, to USA West. Tamulis scored 29 points in 37 minutes for Lithuania, which also got 19 from Augustinas Jankaitis and 18 from Jokubas Gintvaitis, both of whom won the Nike International Junior Tournament in Istanbul last spring with Lietuvos Rytas. In a consolation game on Sunday, Lithuania again fell by 2 points, 93-91, this time to USA East. Mantvydas Staselis led five double-figure scorers on Lithuania with 20 points.

The tournament was won by USA Midwest, which defeated Canada 100-86 in Sunday's final, after which Tamulis, who plays for Zalgiris Kaunas with Staselis and Dimsa, was named to the international all-tournament team.