The second seed in Group B of the 2016 Olympic men’s basketball tournament will face the lowest seed in the bracket later this evening.
Lithuania successfully staved off Brazil and the host nation’s electrifying crowd at Carioca Arena 1 during their opening day matchup on Sunday. The 2015 EuroBasket finalist scored enough points in the first half of the game to avoid a second half rally by the Brazilians.
Lithuania outscored Brazil 27-17 in the first quarter. The first half ended 58-29 in favor of Lietuva. Brazil found its groove in the second half and outscored Lithuania 47-24. However, the Cariocas dug too deep of a hole in the first half. Lithuania walked off the court with an 82-76 win.
Paulius Jankunas was the most efficient player for Lithuania. The veteran power forward tallied 15 points, seven rebounds, three assists and a steal. His closest rival on the Brazilian squad was Nene Hilario. The Houston Rockets big man scored 11 points and grabbed eight rebounds in a losing effort.
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Lithuania currently sits at the second spot in Group B behind Argentina. The South American powerhouse has a +28-point difference over Lithuania after obliterating Nigeria on Sunday.
Argentina limited the 2015 AfroBasket champions to under 20 points in each quarter. Facundo Campazzo led the way for Los Condores with 19 points, five assists, five steals and three rebounds, as per FIBA.com.
Ike Diogu was Nigeria’s lone bright spot. The former Sacramento King was the game’s top rebounder with 13 boards to his name. He also scored 15 points and had two blocks.
Nigeria needs to step up their game against Lithuania to at least make it through the quarter-final round of the tournament. On the other hand, Lithuania would have an easier road to the gold-medal game if they place No. 1 in Group B.