by Dan Casey
|Edvinas Seskus played the main role as Lithuania clinched their Division A status with 29 points, 8 rebounds and 6 assists|
Lithuania secured their Division A status for next year, and Bulgaria's relegation to Division B was confirmed on Friday in Hradec Kralove.
Montenegro will need to win their final two games (against Bulgaria and Poland) and beat Poland by 13 points or more to stay in Division A. But Poland will confirm Montenegro's relegation regardless if they manage to beat Lithuania on Saturday.
Tournament scoring leader Aleksandar Vezenkov was again in fine form, scoring a game-high 35 points on 12-17 shooting and adding 11 rebounds, 7 assists and 3 blocks with only 3 turnovers.
But Poland dominated the boards, coming away with 25 offensive rebounds on their way to 104 points. Mikolaj Witlinski added another double-double with 27 points and 11 rebounds, Damian Jeszke had 16 points and 8 rebounds, and Bartosz Wrobel had 19 points.
Poland went on a 13-0 run in the first quarter to estbalish a lead and, though Bulgaria brought the deficit back to ten points at half-time, a 14-2 Polish run in the third quarter finished the contest.
The other game in the group was a tighter contest, although when Edvinas Seskus hit a three-pointer to put Lithuania ahead 62-46 at the end of the third period, it seemed that the game was already over.
Lithuania still led by 9 points with 3:18 remaining but Montenegro went on a 9-2 which almost snatched victory. Seskus was able to grab his own offensive rebound and put it back with 7 seconds remaining to seal a 76-72 victory.
The shot capped a great game by Seskus who led Lithuania with 29 points, 8 rebounds and 6 assists. Pijus Mykolaitis added 12 points. Luka Savic top-scored for Montenegro with 23 points.