In what would be the first time the two nations battled out on the court independently Mexico would take out the lead at the first break, to the surprise of all in the Gran Canaria City Arena (Spain).
It’s not every game where you see a player pour 12 points in a quarter, 24-year-old Francisco Cruz would do just that before scoring another basket in the opening stages of the second.
Multiple three point shots laid by Simas Jasaitis set the example for his counterparts in Darjuš Lavrinovič and Adas Juškevičius throughout the second half; an unexpected addition to the team following the omission of Mantas Kalnietis.
Then it Jonas Mačiulis’ turn in the third term, as the man known as “the bull” displayed consistency with 6 points in two minutes.
Mexico would ironically win the final quarter 21:20 however by that stage the game was out of reach thanks to the selflessness of Jonas Valančiūnas and Renaldas Seibutis.
A final Mačiulis three point shot would be the icing on the cake for the Real Madrid forward; finishing with 19 points before many of his domestic Spanish league fans.
Lithuania’s coach Jonas Kazlauskas admitted his first quarter fade out was a catastrophe.
“We had to change up our defence in the first break, activate our main play immediately,” said Kazlauskas.
“I think we were able to do that due to our depth on the bench, this component won it for us today.”
Lithuania will now face Angola in a top of the table match in Group D.
The African nation held off South Korea 80:69 thanks to Yannick Pires Moreira and veteran Olímpio Cipriano who combined for 32 points.
Jonas Mačiulis (19), Jonas Valančiūnas (17), Donatas Motiejūnas (15), Simas Jasaitis (9), Darjuš Lavrinovič (9).
Jonas Valančiūnas (5), Donatas Motiejūnas (4).
Renaldas Seibutis (5), Simas Jasaitis (3), Adas Juškevičius (3).
3 points FG:
2 points FG:
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