EUROBASKET: DIRK, GERMANY OUT

The race for the quarter-finals heated up today as Group E concluded with Lithuanian advancing at Germany’s expense with an 84-75 win in Vilnius.

After a Kaman three-point play put Germany on top 41-39 two minutes into the third quarter, Mantas Kalnietis raced to the other end and scored on a drive to spark a 9-0 run for the home team.

Then when a Kaman score put Germany in front 64-63 with 5:25 to go in the game, Jasikevicius went to the other end and hit a free-throw line jumper.

Heiko Schaffartzik knotted the contest at 67-67 with a three-ball but Valanciunas tapped in his own missed shot and scored and then Jasikevicius followed with a jumper.

Philipp Schwethelm, the hero of Germany’s win over Turkey, buried a three-pointer to tie the contest one last time at 75-75 with 1:49 to play, but that was the last time Dirk Bauermann’s team scored.

Jasikevicius, the EuroBasket 2003 MVP when Lithuania won gold in Sweden, killed off their slim hopes with a three-point play with 1:35 to play.

“This is a very hard loss but congratulations to Lithuania,” Germany coach Bauermann said.

“I thought when we had a one-point lead in the fourth quarter, they stayed calm, they turned it up on the defensive end and scored big baskets.

“We have to give them credit. No team was as committed to take the ball out of Chris and Dirk’s hands as they were and that hurt us.

“We told him to get quicker and they did but their defence was too good.”

Spain 96 France 69

Spain, led by 16 from Juan Carlos Navarro, crushed France 96-69 after pulling away in the second half to leave Les Bleus unbeaten record in tatters.

Kevin Seraphin had 18 for the French, who rested Tony Parker and Joakim Noah but trailed only 39-38 at half-time before the Spanish surged clear to top Group E and set up a last eight tie with either Slovenia or Finland. In the quarters, France will face Greece.

Serbia 68 Turkey 67

Serbia edged Turkey 68-67 to progress and send last year’s world championship finalists out of the competition.

Eryan Ilyasova missed a shot off a play out of a time-out in the dying seconds in a thrilling finale.

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