The loss to FYR of Macedonia in the last-eight of their tournament at Eurobasket still hurts Lithuania, but a fifth-place finish has given them hope of a spot at London 2012.

Real Madrid veteran Martynas Pocius though isn’t thinking about hope, or the Olympics which begin in 136 days. The reliable Lithuanian international is thinking about the Additional Qualifiers in Caracas, Venezuela which start in early July.

Pocius was part of the Lithuania side that won bronze at the 2010 world championships in Turkey, after a poor campaign in Poland at the 2009 Eurobasket.

“Our focus right now is the first two games in the group and then two more games in the play-offs. We’ve got to get past that,” Pocius told

“We can’t think about London right now. It’s all about Venezuela, so we’ll see.”

Lithuania have been drawn in Group B alongside the hosts and Nigeria, so on paper the Baltic nation are favourites to progress out of those three sides. They need to win their semi-final match, providing they win their quarter-final encounter to qualify for the Games, or hope to win their 3rd/4th place game.

“It’s going to be a tough summer,” he admits, whilst saying that his side must redeem themselves also.

“We’ve been kind of doing one year playing really well and other years, disappointment. So hopefully, this will be once again our up year.”

The Olympic Basketball Qualifiers in Caracas start on July 2nd-8th.

Quotes used from