Photo: FIBA

In a major development of this year’s FIBA Basketball World Cup, the United States finally suffered to its first official loss as Lithuania carved a 110-104 victory on Sunday, Sept. 3, within the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila.

The Americans rallied from a horrifying start, being down by as much as 21 at the first-half behind Jonas Valanciunas’ leadership. 

But the United States quickly redeemed itself at the second-half, going closer by four, 69-65, via Brandon Ingram’s layup before ending the third frame.

As such, the mighty Baltic Giants stood up boldly against the aggressive drumming of Team USA. Amid facing a probable come-from-behind kill with 4:45 left (89-85) as Jalen Brunson delivered a jump shot, Lithuania managed to withstand the pressure even in the last minute.

Vaidas Kariniauskas carried Lithuania with an efficient 15 markers, while Mindaugas Kuzminskas provided 14.

Big man Jonas Valanciunas feasted for 12 points while also grabbing seven boards.

Anthony Edwards was a one-man show meanwhile for the United States, going off for a game-high 35 points and shooting 14-of-26 from the field.

Regardless of tonight’s result, both Lithuania and the United States are advancing at the World Cup Final Round as the top-two teams of Group J.