VILNIUS — The Baltic states made a fine showing in the 2010 FIBA U18 European Championship, with an undefeated Lithuanian team making their Russian counterparts look like little boys in Vilnius on Sunday evening.
Lithuania crushed the Russians 90-61, playing before a Seimens Arena crowd that set an all-time attendance record for youth basketball in Europe at 13,000 strong. The Russian team was no push-over, having embarrassed Latvia 73-42 in the semifinal but the Lithuanians clearly enthused by all the support and were already dominating 28-9 by the end of the first quarter. The Russian never came close to catching up.
The Latvian team managed to come in third place in the tournament, defeating Serbia 75-49 in a more even game than the final score suggests. Tied 38-38 in the third quarter, Latvia went on a 12-0 scoring run that the Serbians never recovered from to earn the bronze medal.
Both Lithuania and Russia will move on to the 2010 FIBA World Championships in Turkey that kicks off Aug. 28.