Basketball: Lithuania outshoot Turkey to reach semi-finals

BARCELONA (AFP) - Lithuania became the first country to qualify for the World Cup semi-finals as some strong three-point shooting saw them beat 2010 finalists Turkey 73-61 in Tuesday's first quarter-final in Barcelona.

Lithuania, who finished third at the 2010 Worlds in Turkey, made 10-of-19 three-pointers and will take on the winners of the later quarter-final in Barcelona between the reigning champions United States and Slovenia.

Renaldas Seibutis was one of three Lithuanians who made three three-pointers in scoring a team-high 19 points while Jonas Valanciunas collected 12 points and 13 rebounds. Martynas Pocius had 13 points and Darjus Lavrinovic added 11 for the winners, who got 28 points from their reserves compared to just six points for Turkey's bench.

Turkey were paced by 13 points from Kerem Gonlum while Omer Asik had 11 points and 10 rebounds. The Turks made just 3-of-18 three-pointers (17 per cent).

Turkey started very strong, especially Emir Preldzic and Asik, in opening up a 14-6 lead.

Valanciunas did all he could to keep Lithuania in the game though they trailed 18-13 after one quarter.

With Asik, who was playing despite suffering from flu, on the bench for a breather, Lithuania used a mismatch with big man Lavrinovic hanging out beyond the stripe and nailing three three-pointers as the Baltic side grabbed a 24-23 lead.

The Lithuanians were up 33-28 at the break.

Jonas Maciulis's three early in the second half pushed the lead to 36-28. Turkey charged back with a 12-0 run to grab a 40-36 lead.

Seibutis ended the scoring drought with a three-pointer and then Pocius added two more three-pointers in helping Lithuania take a 47-44 lead after three quarters.

Turkey went the first two minutes of the fourth without a point as the Baltic side pushed the lead to 51-44 and another Seibutis triple made it 56-48.

The Lithuanians continued to use their long range shooting to extend the lead out to 64-51 with under four minutes to play.

Turkey could not get closer than eight points the rest of the way.