Valanciunas entered the game late in the first quarter against Belgium with Lithuania clinging to an 11-10 lead and immediately grabbed his first rebound. A minute later Valanciunas was attempting a layup at the other end. He missed that shot but collected his own rebound and was put on the free throw line for his first two points of the game. Lithuania was up 18-12 after one quarter.
This game got quickly out of control as Lithuania built a double-digit lead that expanded to over 20 at the half and 34 in the third quarter. Valanciunas scored 10 second quarter points in 5.5 minutes to lead the rout and returned to close out the last 4:20 of the third quarter with 4 defensive rebounds to record a 12 point 10 rebound double-double.
Rockets forward Donatas Motiejunas also feasted on the overmatched Belgium team, scoring a team high 13 points. 23-year-old forward Mindaugas Kuzminskas, who has been unexpectedly putting on a show for Lithuania at Eurobasket, had 12 points and 8 rebounds in another effective outing.
Lithuania won this game 86-67, but the score doesn’t reflect how bad this beat down was. At the end of the third quarter, Lithuania led 69-35 and they literally coasted home.
Jonathan Tabu-Eboma led Belgium with 15 points.
This is the third time Lithuania has defeated Belgium this summer. In two friendly games in August, Lithuania won 86-61 and 66-53. Except for the last 5 minutes, Head Coach Jonas Kazlauskas was happy with his team’s offense and defense, but there really isn’t anything Lithuania can take away from this game besides the victory.
Valanciunas was cut on a foul to the back of the head in the first quarter, however, he made his free throws after the foul before being subbed out and played limited minutes in the second quarter and in the second half. Local TV is reporting Valanciunas was taken to hospital after the game to stitch up his injury. He is expected to practice with his team on Saturday.
Lithuania plays the Ukraine on Sunday.
Stephen Brotherston covers the Toronto Raptors and visiting NBA teams at the Air Canada Centre. A member of the Professional Basketball Writers Association, Stephen is the editor and publisher of Pro Bball Report. You can follow Stephen on twitter @stevesraptors