2012 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament Quarterfinals

Mantas Kalnietis is elated as the Lithuanians
advance to the semifinals.

Lithuania escaped from an almighty struggle with Puerto Rico with a 76-72 victory and a spot in the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament semifinals.

A classic pick-and-roll drive and two free throws from Sarunas Jasikevicius (11 points) sealed the win after Puerto Rico had threatened to steal victory with help from a partisan crowd.

Linas Kleiza (14 points, 7 rebounds), Mantas Kalnietis (14 points, 3 assists) and Jonas Maciulis (10 points, 11 rebounds) led an evenly spread Lithuanian effort.

For Puerto Rico, bench forward Alex Galindo (17 points, 6 rebounds) and Carlos Arroyo (13 points, 8 assists) were the driving force as the islanders refused to quit.

The Dominican Republic staged a remarkable comeback to overwhelm Macedonia, 86-76, and move within one game of their first ever Olympics.

The game appeared out of reach when the Dominicans trailed by 20 points with four minutes to play in the second quarter, but a crucial 11-4 run to end the half opened the door for a revival.

The hot shooting of Francisco Garcia then made the second half one to remember for their large band of traveling fans. Garcia finished with 28 points, 21 coming after half time.

Al Horford (14 points, 15 rebounds) overcame a horrific first half with his hustle on the boards, while Jack-Michael Martinez (14 points, 13 rebounds), Ronald Ramon (13 points) and Elpidio Fortuna (9 points, 7 rebounds) all made valuable contributions at both ends.

For Macedonia, Bo McCalebb dominated the scoreboard with 35 points, but only Vlado Ilievski (16 points) and Predrag Samardziski (11 points, 13 rebounds) gave strong support.

EuroBasket bronze medalists Russia eased their way into the semifinals thanks to a comfortable win over Afrobasket runners up Angola with a solid all-round display that denied the Africans a sixth consecutive Olympic appearance.

Leading for all but one minute of the first quarter, head coach David Blatt gave all but injured Timofey Mozgov and reserve guard Dmitriy Khvostov at least 10 minutes of play.

Perennial go-to man Andrei Kirilenko (14 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists) was once again terrific, pouring in nine first quarter points to help build a lead from which the Angolans never looked likely to come back.

With Kirilenko involved in almost every play, Vitaliy Fridzon (18 points) and Alexander Kaun (17 points) provided much of what remained of the scoring with Mozgov’s absence barely noticeable.

In spite of a powerful showing by Eduardo Mingas (20 points), and solid displays by guards Armando Costa (10 points) and Carlos Morais (14 pounts), the Angolans struggled to cope with the strong Russian low post play.

An unlikely cameo from Ade Dagunduro won for Nigeria one of the most memorable victories in international basketball history, and put one Nigerian foot into the London Olympics.

After scoring just 19 points in the tournament to that point, the 1.95m guard nailed his country's last seven points to secure a thrilling 80-79 quarterfinal win over Greece.

First Dagunduro hit a mid-range jumper with 70 seconds remaining from an Ike Diogu offensive rebound, and then a pull-up three-pointer with the shot clock winding down to reclaim a two-point lead with 30 seconds to play.

After Konstas Papanikolaou nailed a triple of his own with 14 seconds left, Dagunduro then drove to the basket and drew a foul on Nikos Zisis.

To the delight of the deafening Nigerian fans, he slotted both free throws and then blocked Vasileios Spanoulis' game-winning three-point attempt to spark wild mid-court celebrations.

While Dagunduro's 14 points were the icing on the cake, Diogu (17 points, 12 rebounds) was the rock. Al Farouq Aminu (13 points, 5 rebounds) was also important, making repeated big plays throughout the game.

For Greece, Spanoulis (25 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists) was the star, but Ioannis Bourousis (18 points, 5 rebounds) and Georgios Printezis (10 points) were the only other Greeks who made it to double figures.

Ade Dagunduro hit the biggest shots as Nigeria made history
by sinking Greece.

It was steady as she goes as Andrei Kirilenko and the Russians
stayed alive for a berth in the London Olympics.
Francisco Garcia caught fire as the Dominican Republic
are now just a win away from the London Games.

Source: All images and game recaps are from London2012.Fiba.com.

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