Jonas Valanciunas downplays 'fun' Lithuania-Team USA showdown | Inquirer Sports

Jonas Valanciunas downplays ‘fun’ Lithuania-Team USA showdown

/ 10:38 PM September 02, 2023

Jonas Valanciunas Lithuania Fiba World Cup

Lithuania’s Jonas Valanciunas. -FIBA PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines-Jonas Valanciunas and Lithuania vow to put up a fighting attitude against the United States when the two squads meet in a battle of unbeaten squads to wrap up the second round of the Fiba World Cup.

The NBA center declared Sunday’s contest at Mall of Asia Arena won’t be extraordinary despite facing familiar faces in an American team determined to regain supremacy on international basketball’s biggest stage.


“Every game is special,” Valanciunas said after Lithuania’s 92-67 win over Greece. “We fight every game [and] we leave everything on the court. No matter what the opponent’s name is, we gonna out and fight.”


Lithuania is assured of a spot in the quarterfinals, already an improvement from its finish in the 2019 edition held in China.

Lithuania Fiba world cup

Lithuania celebrates after beating Greece in the Fiba World Cup second round. FIBA PHOTO

Rokus Jokubaitis, Mindaugas Kuzminskas and Ignas Brazdeikis are among the notable players other than Valanciunas who have been performing well for the Lithuanians in the competition.

Valanciunas will be facing New Orleans Pelicans teammate Brandon Ingram, who has been trying to find his groove for the Americans since the start of the tournament.

Another interesting sidelight is the point guard matchup between Jokabaitis and Team USA starter Jalen Brunson.

Jokubaitis was drafted by the New York Knicks, who have his rights after being selected in the second round two years ago.

“It’s gonna be fun,” Valanciunas said.

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TAGS: Fiba World Cup, Jonas Valanciunas, Lithuania, Team USA

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