Russia, Lithuania Heading To London

HANG TIME NEW JERSEY — As the United States named its 12-man roster for London 2012 on Saturday, two teams earned trips to London with victories in the Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Caracas, Venezuela.

Russia and Lithuania, two of the favorites in the 12-team qualifying tourney, are teams Nos. 10 and 11 in the Olympic field.

In the first of Saturday’s games, point guard Alexey Shved (who looks to be NBA-bound this fall) led Russia to an 85-77 win over Nigeria, scoring 22 points and dishing out six assists. The game was tied at 26 early in the second quarter, but Russia outscored Nigeria 20-5 to close the period and led by as many as 21 in the second half.

Andrei Kirilenko added 19 points, eight rebounds and four steals for Russia, while Ike Diogu (who played two games for the Spurs last season) led Nigeria with 16 points and 14 boards. The Hornets’ Al-Farouq Aminu scored 13 points, but had seven turnovers.

Russia shot a scorching 14-for-27 from 3-point range. They were arguably the U.S. Team’s toughest competition in the medal rounds in the 2010 World Championship, losing 89-79 in the quarterfinals.

The team the U.S. beat in the ’10 semifinals was the second team to qualify for the Olympics on Saturday. Lithuania, who had a disappointing finish in last year’s Eurobasket (which they hosted), redeemed themselves with a 109-83 blowout of the Dominican Republic.

Lithuania had five guys in double-figures, including the Raptors’ Jonas Valanciunas, who scored 17 points and grabbed seven rebounds. Like Russia, Lithuania was red hot from beyond the arc, hitting 10 of their 18 threes.

The Dominican Republic shot just 39 percent from the field. The Hawks’ Al Horford was 4-for-14 and had only four rebounds in 23 minutes. After a huge performance (28 points) in the quarterfinals, the Kings’ Francisco Garcia scored just 11 points in 21 minutes.

Nigeria and the Dominican Republic will play Sunday for the final spot in the Olympics. That game can be seen on NBA TV at 8 p.m. ET.

Field for 2012 Olympics
Team How
United States 2010 World Champion
Great Britain Host
Tunisia FIBA Africa Champion
Australia FIBA Oceania Champion
Argentina FIBA Americas Champion
Brazil FIBA Americas 2nd place
Spain Eurobasket Champion
France Eurobasket 2nd place
China 2011 FIBA Asia Champion
Lithuania 2012 Qualifier
Russia 2012 Qualifier
Dominican Rep. or Nigeria 2012 Qualifier


  1. Seyi says:

    i dont think argentina can surprise team usa. Spain also i dont think they can match the speed and experience team usa has now with the continuity from 2008-2010. spain came a distant 6th at the world championships in turkey. their bigs fran vasquez, mar gasol , pau and ibaka will have thier hands full with the defensive intensity team usa can mount. It will be very competitive game which is good. I am not sold on the raptors draft pick jonas from lietuva.. big guy not effective against nigeria whose biggest body is 6’10 from what i have seen thus far unimpressive

  2. LK says:

    Usa team is deadly with speed this year

  3. BronBron says:

    Haha, I’m from Lithuania, and I have this feeling, that USA’s team will sweep everyone out of olympics, can’t wait for the show. : )

  4. tom says:

    Certain gold . No one can come within 20 points againt this team . Average win margin will be over 40 points .

  5. DOYnamite#1 says:

    with the usa team having no post threat in the line up expect them to be very fast in a run and gun game pure american style basketball.. only teams wth smallball line.up and can handle the fullcourt pressure of the usa can compete in this years usa team.. watchout for for argentina and france.. teams that are under the radar..

    • NBEATZ says:

      No post threat Love and Griifen????????????????????????????????????????????

      • brandon says:

        kevin love is the best power forward int he game right now… blake griffin is the most overrated player in the history of basketball. kevin love is our only dominant big man.

  6. willie says:

    everybody is laughing at Kobe and LeBron interview when all the us team at 0:50. When he said Kobe your excitement level.

  7. Mehdi Mohamed says:

    I think Tunisia is going to get the gold.

  8. Only Spain and Argentina could pull an Upset over USA–

  9. nagz says:

    Don’t underestimate Australia!

  10. big game by big val!!!!

  11. Isaac says:

    No point just schedule USA vs Spain already. Everybody know they are both going to be in the gold medal game.

  12. AWALRAPS says:

    US VS Lithuania is going to be a good game for Jonas…get a taste of what the NBA is all about…