#CourtsideStories with Connor Sports: 'Return to St Jordi'

4 years ago

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Lithuania vs. New Zealand 

Although the Tall Blacks performed the Haka to instill fear in their opponents, the dance was no match for the Lithuanian team and its thousands of fans, eager for another world championship in the Palau St Jordi.
The Lithuanian's were celebrating their country’s return to the Palau St Jordi where in 1992, their fellow countrymen were 'The Other Dream Team'. The ’92 Lithuanian team was an icon for democracy. They were a team of NBA players who’s country’s recent independence from the USSR was a story the world wanted to see. They were a new country, financially strapped. A new basketball team of athleticism and NBA talent, who’s country didn’t have enough money to pay their way to the Olympics. 
Lithuania 1992Lithuania 2014
But a country that is a beacon of hope for democracy couldn’t be left in the cold. The Grateful Dead stepped up to the plate and sponsored the team…and provided the infamous tie-die warm-ups. The team of Lithuanian countrymen, who were NBA superstars, went on to be known for its will, its passion, its inspirational story and its performance. The team took home a bronze medal at the Barcelona Olympics, the same year the USA Dream Team took home gold. 
Today, the next generation of Lithuanian fans showed up in their throwback tie-die to cheer on a new team in the same Palace where history was made in 1992. And the Lithuanian Team showed up on the Official Court of Spain 2014 to keep its country’s hopes of a cup alive.  
Final Score, Lithuania Wins 76-71.
Connor Sports Hardwood Basketball Court in FIBA Basketball World Cup
Lithuania on the Connor Sports Basketball Court

Other recaps from the weekend 

Team USA vs. Mexico
A powerful team USA, returning to the place where the original 1992 Dream Team won Olympic Gold. Team USA took an early lead over Mexico and never let go. The team made of NBA All Stars benched its starters in the 2nd half to keep them fresh and let the young guys take over. Final Score, USA wins 86-63.
France vs. Croatia
Saturday evening against Croatia, the French team stepped onto the Connor Hardwood ready to win. Ready to rematch the presumed quarterfinalist, Spain, who defeated them last week. The Croatians weren’t willing to give up without a fight. The close game ended in a French victory. Final Score, France wins 69-64.
Slovenia vs. Dominican Republic
The Slovenian fans took over the Palau Sant Jordi on Saturday…green shirts everywhere…but the on-court battle wasn’t as dominant. Slovenia and the Dominican Republic bounced the lead back and forth throughout the night. In the end, Slovenia was the victor. Final Score, Slovenia wins 71-61.
Spain vs. Senegal
Hosts Spain opened against Senegal. Although it was Spain’s closest game at the end of the first, Spain took off and overpowered Senegal. Final Score, Spain wins 89-56. 
Greece vs. Serbia
The Hellas came out with fire, but it dwindled. The team was overmatched by a Serbian team who ran away with the game. Final Score, Serbia wins 90-72.
Australia vs. Turkey
Technical delays may have caused fans and TV producers a little anxiety, but the teams prevailed. Both teams hung around the bench staring at the words below the Connor Sports logo…Where Champions Play. Thinking of the dreams that could prevail if they were the victors on the hardwood basketball court. A close game throughout, Turkey won in the final seconds.  Final Score, Turkey wins 65 - 64.

Brazil vs. Argentina
This may have been the fan match up of the night. Neighboring countries…who share a fan base with a passion for Basketball. The singing, chanting and swaying made the building in Madrid electric…and the play on the court was energized. But Argentina couldn't hold up to a strong Brazilian team. 
Final Score, Brazil wins 85-65.
Tags:  WhereChampionsPlay Spain2014
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