FYR of Macedonia have knocked the hosts out of Eurobasket, as they defeated Lithuania 67-65 in Kaunas.
Bo McCalebb led all scorers with 23 points, as he scored four points in the last minute to give the unfancied Macedonians a monumental win.
Robertas Javtokas led Lithuania with 13 points.
“I think we showed that we are one of the best teams in Europe even though many thought our run was down to luck,” FRYOM coach Marin Dokuzovski said after the game.
“We deserve to be here. We played without pressure, we played very free and with great tempo.”
A Paulius Jankunas three-point play gave Lithuania a 65-61 lead with just over a minute left, McCallebb narrowed the gap with a lay-up when Vlado Ilievski gave the FYR of Macedonia a shock lead with 11 seconds remaining. Simas Jasaitis missed a baseline jumper with two seconds left, and it was Ilievski who sealed the win from the line.
Lithuania contained McCalebb at the start, as he struggled to use his quickness to drive to the hoop. Though as the period wore on, he found ways to get to the hoop, as he scored seven points, with three of them coming from the foul-line.
Lithuania though kept their noses in-front after one, but the Former Yugoslav Republic would keep in touch throughout the first half. The hosts thought they had a little breathing space when a jumper from team captain Javtokas gave Lietuva a 34-28 lead going into half-time interval, but a lay-up from McCalebb cut the deficit to four at the half (34-30).
It was nip-and-tuck to start the third, both teams were taking no prisoners inside and Sarunas Jasikevicius was not letting McCalebb out of his sight. Javtokas connected close to the hoop to give Lithuania a 38-32 lead, but it was cancelled out quickly. A triple from Vojdan Stojanovski was the highlight of a quick-fire 6-0 run from the Macedonians to tie the contest at 38.
Buckets were traded mid-way through the third, but the hosts held their nerve, leading 52-49 at the end of the quarter.
The massive crowd inside the Zalgiris Arena were in for a rollercoaster last ten minutes. Little did the 300-or-so Macedonian fans know that they would come away with a huge victory.