On this day in sport Lithuanian Modestas Paulauskas claimed his third straight EuroBasket Gold medal in Italy.
© Asmeninio archyvo nuotr.

Both Paulauskas and Estonian Priit Tomson helped guide the USSR to four straight wins in the Group stage against Hungary (95:63), Greece (83:63), Sweden (91:47) and Bulgaria (85:62).

However the final match of the opening week would see Paulauskas and his teammates fall short to Yugoslavia 73:61 before a mild Caserta crowd.

The playoffs then took place in Naples where the USSR faced off against Czechoslovakia and would triumph 83:69.

Amongst the Czech players who would eventually claim the Bronze title was Jiří Zídek, his son of his son of the same name went on to play in the Žalgiris Kaunas 1999 Euroleague winning team.

Paulauskas meanwhile led the Soviet team to its 7th consecutive EuroBasket, claiming redemption over Yugoslavia 81:72.

By this stage in history the USSR had participated in 11 tournaments; having claimed ten Gold medals and a Bronze (in 1955).

Seven of these EuroBasket winning sides featured Lithuanians adding on to (the formerly Independent) nation’s back to back titles in 1937 and 1939 before Soviet Occupation.

Surprisingly, the 24-year-old Paulauskas would miss out on selection in the All-tournament team despite claiming spots in the previous two teams as well as the 1965 EuroBasket MVP title.

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