In brief - 2004-03-18

  • 2004-03-18
Zydrunas Ilgauskas (photo below) was named NBA Player of the Week in the Eastern Conference honors after averaging 21.3 points, 7.7 rebounds and 3.3 blocks to help the Cleveland Cavaliers to a 3-0 unbeaten streak.

The Kaunas-born center mustered 30 points in 29 minutes to help the Cavs defeat Toronto, 106-92, on March 10 and made several key defensive plays in the final minutes of the Cavaliers' 107-104 victory over the league-leading Indiana Pacers on March 15. It was the sixth straight win for Cleveland, the team's longest winning streak in four years. Cleveland is 10-3 since the All-Star break and one of the hottest teams in the NBA. It has not been in the playoffs since 1998.

Inspired by the near defeat of the United States in the finals in the 2000 Olympics, Lithuania's national basketball team is mobilizing all its re-sources to win the gold this summer in Athens. According to the latest reports, the team has been in contact with Zydrunas Ilgauskas (photo), 7-3 center of the Cleveland Cavaliers, and is hoping to recall him from the NBA for the Olympic games. "We are talking about that, but today we can't give a definite answer," Algis Pavilonis, Lithuania's national team officer, said this week. "A lot of factors are important: the club with his contract situation – a lot of clubs aren't very positive about losing players because of the possibility of injuries." Indeed, Ilgauskas has been dogged by repeated foot fractures since being drafted into the NBA in 1996.

The Latvian athlete Jelena Rublevska took first place in the first leg at the World Pentathlon Cup in Mexico, which helped her qualify for the Athens Olympic Games this summer. Rublevska took the lead early in the first event and managed to stay in the lead till the very end (shooting - 1096, fencing - 1056, swimming -1148, horse riding - 1172, running - 860). The world leader in the event, Zuza Vorosa of Hungary, finished second (5312), and the current European champion Georgina Harland of the U.K. took third place (5296).

At the javelin competition of the European Winter Throwing Challenge, Latvia's Vadims Vasilevskis won the gold. His spear flew 82.44 meters, while another Latvian, Ainars Kovals, managed to take second by throwing 82.13 meters. Both of the athletes have met the class A norm (81,80) to qualify for the Olympic games. So far, four of Latvia's javelin athletes have met this norm (Eriks Rags and Voldemars Lusis), yet only three athletes from one country may participate in one event.