Lithuania in the News
18th September 2011
Lithuania Hosts EuroBasket 2011
Lithuania’s President Dalia Grybauskaitė with the official mascot Amberis,
alluding to Lithuania’s national jewel amber. Photo courtesy
The European Basketball Championship of 2011, universally referred to as EuroBasket 2011, is the 37th championship organised by FIBA Europe. It has been hosted by Lithuania August 31 - September 18. This is the second time Lithuania has hosted EuroBasket and the first time since the restoration of its independence in 1990. Lithuania also hosted the 1939 European Basketball Championship before the world war.
As basketball is the national sport in Lithuania, the country has been gripped by basketball fever for months even before the start of the competition. Just before the start of the championship an estimated 60,000 Lithuanians across the country set a new Guiness world record for basketball dribbling. The TV tower in Vilnius was adorned at its top with an impressive basketball basket. All the country was anxiously waiting for the start of the championship.
But the dream of a medal for the Lithuanian team sadly did not eventuate. Lithuania in the championship has so far played 11 matches, won 8 and lost 3. In the preliminary round it lost only to the current European champions Spain and in the second round only lost to France. This allowed Lithuania to qualify for the quarter-finals, but Lithuania then lost to Macedonia 65:67 in a hard fought match and lost its chance of a medal. It then proceeded to another nail-biting match to win against Slovenia 80:77 to ensure either 5th or 6th place. This now guarantees Lithuania the right to compete in the London Olympics in 2012, which is extended only to the top 6 European teams. A total of 24 teams competed this year in the EuroBasket 2011. The 5th and 6th place positions were decided by the play off between Lithuania and Greece 73:69.

Further information:
On this website - News/ Lithuania in the News/ August 28th - Grand Opening of the Imposing “Žalgiris” Arena in Kaunas