Sport|European Basketball Qualifier
The criticized qualifying system for the European Basketball Championships was the fate of Lithuania, a member of the European Basketball Association.
European Lithuania, one of the best basketball countries, avoided a gigantic disaster on Monday night by beating Denmark narrowly by 77-76 in a decisive qualifying match.
Denmark had a chance to win the match in the final loss point. Lithuanian butcher Mantas Kalnietis however, made one of the most important defensive accomplishments of his career and fought off the basket Adama Darboen corporate.
Thanks to the fight, Lithuania is one of the 24 countries traveling to next year’s European Championships. Elimination from the Games would have been the first since the break-up of the Soviet Union.
“We just felt relief. I didn’t see anyone jumping for joy, ”commented a member of the team’s experienced guard Jonas Mačiulis To the Delphi site.
On Monday The European Championships also survived Jukka Toijalan coached by Estonia, which lost to Northern Macedonia in the decisive match by 84-86.
A small loss was enough for Estonia, which deliberately threw free throws at the last minute to avoid overtime.
“I would like to thank the junior coaches of Estonian clubs, today is their day,” Toijala thanked in Estonian To Postimees magazine.
Basketball is by far the number one species in Lithuania. The Grand Club Žalgiris is a regular member of the toughest Euroleague in Europe. For three consecutive seasons, its audience average has been the best in the entire Euroleague, peaking at almost 15,000 spectators per match.
A significant part of Lithuania’s best basketball players, such as a second-generation top player Domantas Sabonis, however, play professionally in either the NBA or the Euroleague, neither of which made it to the qualifiers.
The unequal qualifying system and the playing of qualifiers in general during the Korona period have been sharply criticized by, among others, the head coach of the Finnish national team Henrik Dettmann.
“Games like that shouldn’t be played right now,” Dettmann said said to HS before the last qualifying round.
“There are risks that are impossible to manage. That is why I find it unfair that these matches are being played. There are a lot of risks and we need to talk about them openly. ”