Lithuania gave USA their best test so far in the Olympics, losing 94-99. Veteran point guard Sarunas Jasikevicius, who drowned USA in 2004 and was one shot away from beating Americans in 2000, shared his thoughts about the game.
Travelling violation is usually a topic discussed when USA plays in international tournaments. The way the rule is interpreted in FIBA tournaments and the NBA is different. And it was frustrating for Saras to see referees not calling travelling on American players even when it was obvious.
“I don’t get it. There are FIBA rules, if a player takes the ball and runs two meters, travelling must be called,” he said. “Maybe the rules will be changed in the future, but at the moment that’s travelling.
“I’m not saying that they [referees] were indulgent towards Americans, or that we lost [the game] due to the referees’ fault. Absolutely not. Simply there are rules according which the game must be whistled, it doesn’t matter if it’s Petrauskas (a common surname in Lithuania) or Kobe Bryant running.”
Saras also commented on the way Lithuania fulfilled their gameplan: “We did more or lesss everything that we’ve planned in both offence and defence. We talked in the locker room that it sounds funny when we say that we defended not bad while they scored 100 points. They [Americans] leave many corridors in defence and take risks, that’s why we scored 94 points.
“The game was successful but there are no moral wins in sports, you wither win or lose. I don’t think it was our best game in the Olympics. We played better against Nigeria. USA is an opponent against which it is easier to play because you have nothing to lose. I think we playing solid for 40 minutes.”