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LTU - Juskevicius in fine fettle as he targets place in team

Adas Juskevicius (LTU)
Adas Juskevicius (LTU)

VILNIUS (FIBA Basketball World Cup) - Lithuania are going to show up at the FIBA Basketball World Cup in Spain with one thing in mind. The Baltic giants will arrive in Gran Canaria for their Group D games looking to get on a roll and reach the podium.

Veteran coach Jonas Kazlauskas, who steered the side to a runners-up finish at last year's EuroBasket in Slovenia, will have his work cut out for him with veterans Linas Kleiza and Robertas Javtokas not playing this summer.

Their friendly triumph over Georgia suggests the team has a lot of potential to do well.

The Lithuanias cruised to an 82-51 triumph, with Mindaugas Kuzminskas pouring in 15 points.

Kazlauskas' team stormed into an early 21-9 advantage and never looked back.

Donatas Motiejunas and Renaldas Seibutis contributed 13 points apiece.

Adas Juskevicius, who has been raising eyebrows with his play, had 10 points.

The 25-year-old Lietuvos Rytas playmaker, who represented his country at youth level, is hoping this is finally going to be the summer in which he plays for the senior team in a major tournament.

He is desperate to make the 12-man squad.

"I don't want to be the 13th player," he said.

"However, sometimes it happens and there's nothing you can do about it.

"I go to each summer training camp with the idea of making he squad and don't think about missing out on the first team after the last cut."

Juskevicius has felt the sting of being cut before.

"Setbacks motivate many players and I am no exception," he said.

Even if Juskevicius doesn't make it, he'll be able to say that he had a great experience.

Right now, he is rubbing shoulders with the top players of Lithuanian basketball.

"You meet all the country's best players," he said. "All of this causes only positive emotions.

"Getting to the final 12 in the team is my goal and dream."

The Baltic giants should arrive in Gran Canaria as favorites in a Group D that also includes Slovenia, Australia, Angola, Mexico and Korea.