Photo: FIBA

The Lithuanian Basketball Federation (LKF) has announced that Jonas Valanciunas will not be available to compete for Lithuania at the Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Puerto Rico.

Despite Valanciunas’ desire to play for the national team, his contractual situation with an NBA team and his need to be healthy at the beginning of July pose obstacles.

Valanciunas expressed his disappointment at not being able to represent his country due to the circumstances. However, he assured that he would support the team in every way possible and is preparing for the Paris Olympics.

To replace Valanciunas, Lithuania has added Motiejus Krivas and Vaidotas Kariniauskas to the training camp. Krivas is expected to fill in for the absent Laurynas Birutis, while Kariniauskas joins due to Augustas Marciulionis’ injury during the preparation stage.

Lithuania’s head coach, Kazys Maksvytis, acknowledged the need for contingency plans in Valanciunas’ absence. Maksvytis highlighted the role of other team leaders, particularly Domantas Sabonis, in adapting the game plan.

The Lithuanian team will face Mexico and Ivory Coast in the Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Puerto Rico from July 2nd to 7th. If they advance, they may face Italy, Puerto Rico, or Bahrain in the playoffs.

Before the tournament, Lithuania will play two friendly games against Slovenia, with the first match scheduled for June 23rd in Vilnius and the second on June 25th in Ljubljana.

The Lithuanian national team roster includes Rokas Jokubaitis (Barcelona), Lukas Lekavicius (Zalgiris), Tomas Dimsa (Zalgiris), Deividas Sirvydis (7bet-Lietkabelis), Marius Grigonis (Panathinaikos), Rokas Giedraitis (Crvena zvezda), Vaidas Kariniauskas (Twinsbet Wolves), Arnas Butkevicius (Zalgiris), Edgaras Ulanovas (Zalgiris), Mindaugas Kuzminskas (AEK), Tadas Sedekerskis (Baskonia), Eimantas Bendzius (Dinamo Sassari), Azuolas Tubelis (Rytas), Motiejus Krivas (Arizona Wildcats), Domantas Sabonis (Sacramento Kings), and Donatas Motiejunas (Monaco).