Lithuania wins U19 basketball gold

  • 2011-07-11
  • TBT Staff

Lithuania beat Serbia to take gold at the world championships in Riga.

RIGA -- Lithuania's under-19 basketball team has won gold at the world championships in Riga with a stunning defeat over Serbia.

Lithuania's team was led by rising star Jonas Valanciunas, who recently rocketed to international fame when he was drafted by the Toronto Raptors to play for the team next year.

Valanciunas scored 36 points to help seal a 85-67 win over Serbia. He was awarded the tournament MVP award, becoming the first player to win the award with victories in the U16, U18 and U19 events.

The intense and fast-paced match was tied at 43 near the end of the third quarter, when Lithuania began to take off. Lithuanian players managed a run of 18-3 near the end of the quarter -- a lead that Serbia would be unable to recover from.

Valanciunas will next play as the back-up center for the senior national team at the European Championships, which will be hosted on home ground.

After a first-round draft pick by the Raptors (5th overall), he will move to Toronto next year after the resolution of the NBA lock-out this season.