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China Daily Website

Injuries haunt Lithuania's basketball dreams

Updated: 2012-06-26 17:19
By Zhang Xiao & Xing Xudong ( chinadaily.com.cn)

With the London Olympics less than 5 weeks away, the field of Lithuanian team remains only 75 percent set for the men's basketball competition. Three teams will emerge via Olympic qualifiers starting July 2 Venezuela, which will round out the field of 12.

Since 1991, Lithuania has made the semi-finals of every men's Olympic basketball event. However, the men's basketball team's hopes of making it to the Olympics in London this summer have been dealt a severe blow following an injury to point guard Renaldas Seibutis.

The 26-year-old played at the 2010 FIBA World Championship in Turkey and helped the national team capture a bronze medal, but he was cut from last year's squad that came in fifth at the EuroBasket on home soil. Last week Seibutis' plans of going to South America came to a crashing halt when he clashed with a national squad teammate during training, leaving him with multiple fractures to his cheekbone.

It is the second significant setback for Kestutis Kemzura's team with up-and-coming forward Donatas Motiejunas also unavailable for the South American tournament. The 21-year-old has opted out of the national team's program this summer to instead focus on the next domestic season, when he is expected to make his NBA debut for the Houston Rockets.

Injuries haunt Lithuania's basketball dreams
Video: Zhang Xiao

Photo: Wu Chuanjing

Story: Xing Xudong

Producer: Flora Yue

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