Jonas Valanciunas grabs 24 boards as Lithuania defeats Poland 87-75: FIBA U-19 World Championship

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Jonas Valanciunas grabs 24 boards as Lithuania defeats Poland 87-75: FIBA U-19 World Championship
Jonas Valanciunas achieved monstrous stats, as Lithuania defeated Poland 87-75 on Friday in a FIBA Under-19 World Championship game. Lithuania outperformed the Polish squad from the free throw line, as they hit 87 percent of their
Valanciunas was leading scorer of Lithuania. He pounded 26 points and clutched 24 rebounds, highest by anyone in the game along with one steal. During his 35:56 minutes stay on the court, the centre shot at 42 percent from the
field and 91 percent from the charity stripe. Vytenis Cizauskas added 13 points, grasped seven rebounds, catered for six assists and made three steals.
Both teams made a solid start and the game generally hung in balance. With 2:22 minutes remaining in the first quarter and the scores tied at 13, Lithuania made the charge and outscored Poland with a 9-2 surge, enabling them to
a 22-15 lead, at the end of the first period.
The first frame was just a warm up for the Lithuanian squad. They set the stage on fire with an astonishing 20-0 blitz that shattered the Polish defence and pushed the scores to 35-15 with more than six minutes to go in the first
half. Although Poland showed some resistance later and reduced the deficit too, but Lithuania’s lead remained beyond their reach. At the end of the second period, Lithuania was in strong position with a 57-41 advantage.
Poland, who struggled in the first half of the game, came out of the locker room with a fresh strategy in the third quarter. The new plan worked well for them and they successfully restricted the Lithuanians to just 17 points during
the period, which was there lowest score during any frame until then. At the same time, the Polish offense kept penetrating into Lithuania’s backcourt and eventually cut the double-digit lead to just seven (64-57) by time third period finished.  
Right at the tip of the fourth quarter Poland’s Michal Michalak hit a whoosher from the three-point range and reduced the shortfall to just four. Lithuania responded though and launched a 12-0 burst that pushed the score to 76-60.
 The Polish tried to shake Lithuania with some quick possessions (78-71) that left the difference to just seven, but Lithuanian squad nipped their surge swiftly and took the game away from Poland in the last two and half minutes
with an 8-4 aggression.   
Michal Michalak led all the scorers with his game-high 29 points and his contributions did not end there as he also grabbed 13 rebounds and provided two assists for Poland, which still fell short in the end.



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