Lithuania knock off France, Serbia undefeated in group
LJUBLJANA - France missed a chance to book a spot in the quarter-finals of the 2013 European basketball championship on Wednesday as they lost to Lithuania while Serbia took over sole possession of first place in the second round group stage.
Four players scored in double figures - led by 15 from Renaldas Seibutis - as Lithuania put together a superb defensive showing in a 76-62 victory over France, who reached the European final two summers ago before losing to Spain.
The 62 points scored by France were 18.6 points fewer than their average of 80.6 through the first five games. And France's NBA star Tony Parker was held to 11 points, down from his previous average of 18.8 points per game.
The loss leaves both Lithuania and France at 2-1 in the group, one victory behind Serbia.
The Serbs improved to 3-0 after surviving a dog-fight with Belgium 76-69, Nenad Krstic scoring 17 points. Stefan Markovic hit for 15 points and Bogdan Bogdanovic added 12 points.
"It was a very tough match for us. Maybe we were a bit under pressure because we knew it was a very big game for us. But at the end we managed to get this win," said Krstic, the veteran leader of the youngest team in the competition.
Belgium, who were in the second round for the first time since 1993, dropped to 0-3 in the group despite 16 points from Wen Mukubu.
Latvia meanwhile improved to 1-2 in the group thanks to a dominating 85-51 win over Ukraine.
Kristaps Janicenoks made four of four three-pointers in scoring 14 points and pacing a Latvian attack that made 15 three-pointers and shot 52 percent from three-point range.
Rihards Kuksiks added 13 points and Martins Meiers chipped in 11 points and 10 rebounds for the winners.
Sergii Gladyr scored 12 points but could not keep Ukraine from dropping to 1-2 in the group
The competition continues Thursday with action in Group F as Finland take on Croatia, Greece square off against two-time reigning champs Spain, and hosts Slovenia play against undefeated Italy.
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