Photo: FIBA

Tadas Sedekerskis wonders how situations have unfolded for him and Lithuania as they are now out of the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup contention.

In a blink of an eye, the sweet, glorious sensation of their second-round victory against the invincible United States on Sunday turned to sudden devastation upon reaching this Tuesday night, wherein they were pulverized by Serbia in their World Cup quarterfinal bout, 87-68.

“It’s difficult to talk right now because it was the most important game for us to go to the semifinals,” he said. “Until this game we had an amazing tournament, we won five games in a row, and the last game against the United States.

“We respect Serbia a lot. We prepared the game, but we forget the game very fast against the United States. But I don’t know. I don’t know actually what happened today. It looked like they played more aggressive, they played more defense. We couldn’t get enough in our rhythm and you can see the result says it all. We lost by 20 points without a fight, and they crushed us.”

Using their imposing size and laser-focused shooting, Lithuania pulled the upset over the United States – creating shockwaves around this year’s World Cup scene and the basketball community as they inflicted the unblemished record of the Americans.

Marching their way to the Final Round by being the lone team besides Germany to leave the Group Phase without a stain to their win-loss card, Lietuva was suddenly trembled by a much superior Serbian team bannered by Atlanta Hawks sharpshooter Bogdan Bogdanovic. As they were assumed to go for a fiery fight against a fellow highly efficient squad, the Baltik Giants were outgunned and overwhelmed by The Eagles’ consistent 55 percent mark from the field.

Sedekerskis refused to dwell on the jubilating pool play triumph they made over the Americans, knowing that their hopes of hoisting the Naismith Trophy were already pounded to dust by the Serbians.

“We knew that we came here to win a medal,” he said. “We set our goal at the first day of our camp, so we want medal. Of course nobody were waiting for us to play that good. So our goal of us is to win the medal, and we know that if we want to win that, we have to beat Serbia in the quarterfinals to go to the semifinals.

“And that game against the United States, as you can see now, now it’s nothing. Just a history. We dont have any chances to fight for the medal, so we knew that. We didnt think of a good or something because we won that against the United States.”

Ultimately, Sedekerskis can only tip his hat off to Bogdanovic and Serbia.

With almost all of their units on the scoring board, Serbia was powered by the hot hands of Bogdanovic, which produced a game-high 21 markers. The national squad is set to appear for their third World Cup semifinal round in program history.

“That Serbian team is amazing team, and they know how to play basketball. They have great players like Bogdan Bogdanovic,” Sedekerskis stated.

“It was easy to forget [the win against U.S.]. Maybe for the fans, it’s no. But for us, for the players, I can guarantee 100% that we forgot that.”