|Erazem Lorbek was his productive self against Lithuania with 13 points and 6 rebounds|
Slovenia's players got the bad taste of two heavy defeats at Spain out of their mouths by winning against EuroBasket hosts Lithuania in Ljubljana.
Erazem Lorbek, an all-tournament team selection at EuroBasket 2009, had 13 points and six rebounds.
"We played a good game," he said, "especially on defense, in which we were very focused.
"We went a step further, made good progress."
The national team, he believes, is ready to make a run at another podium finish.
They came in fourth place at EuroBasket 2009 in Poland.
"We have put in a lot of work and I think we are well prepared," Lorbek said.
Bozidar Maljkovic said his team had played well on defense but added: "I don't want there to be any euphoria because of this game because we are still building a team.
"But we played rich basketball with lots of shots, assists, dedication and team defense, which is our tribute to the Slovenian audience."
Kestutis Kemzura, the Lithuania coach, is hoping his team peaks at the right time.
"We started to play only in the second half," he said.
"We tried to stop the Slovenian guards, who had a good shooting night. Their team looks fresh and played well on offense.
"The Slovenians had 21 assists and we had only nine, which means that they are playing like a real team.
"The EuroBasket is in just one week, which is practically no time, and we still have something to fix.
"We must show more character."
Israel Down Russia
Israel, meanwhile, did the best thing possible after losing Omri Casspi.
They went out and beat Russia, one of the teams that looks like title contenders going into the EuroBasket.
Casspi was ruled out of the EuroBasket this week due to injury, but Arik Shivek's team beat the Russians and their Israeli coach, David Blatt, 89-79 at the Rishon tournament.
Lior Eliyahu, one of the players Blatt coaches at Maccabi Tel Aviv, had 27 points while EuroBasket 2007 MVP Andrei Kirilenko poured in a game-high 29.
Yaniv Green, a veteran center in the Israel side, said: "Russia have a large squad that can also take the championship this summer and we managed to deal with it, so it says something about us.
"On the other hand, we also can lose to the teams with weaker squads.
"If we come out sharp and focused as we played against Russia, we can make our own way, and I hope we can."
Greece, Italy Win In Acropolis
Greece followed up their 83-54 rout of American college side Brigham Young University (BYU) with a 101-67 demotion of Bulgaria on Day 2 of the Acropolis Tournament in Athens.
Kostas Vasileiadis, the sharpshooter from Bizkaia Bilbao Basket in Spain, had 15 points to lead the team.
|Marco Belinelli and Italy will meet Greece to decide the winner of the Acropolis tournament|
"We were much more focused," Greece coach Ilias Zouros said.
"The rotation of the ball was as we wanted it to be."
Zouros says there is always room for improvement.
"In pressing, we made some mistakes that need to be corrected.
"In the third quarter, we were not good on defense.
"We made many mistakes on the defensive end and those must be fixed."
Italy are also 2-0 at the Acropolis Tournament after following up their 74-71 win against Bulgaria with a 102-63 drubbing of BYU.
Danilo Gallinari had 21 points and Marco Belinelli 15 for the Italians, who face Greece on Thursday.
"We knew it would be a different game and we played it as such," Italy coach Simone Pianigiani said.
"We took it as a training (session) against the zone as it is something they practice a lot and the defense that we proposed, too.
"The first two quarters, my team showed the will to play that this team has but we still struggle to get into a rhythm.
"The time is limited and against Greece, we will have to make an extra effort to increase our level with respect to what we have done so far."
Montenegro, Turkey Prevail
Omar Cook, one of the top point guards in Europe, showed his value to Montenegro by scoring 20 points and handing out six assists in an 80-67 triumph over Ukraine at the Adidas Istanbul Cup.
"We started the match a little confused," said Vladimir Dragicevic of Montenegro.
"The Ukrainians built a 10- to 12-point lead.
"In the second half, we broke their rhythm and claimed a well-deserved victory.
"We're still preparing for the EuroBasket and hope to be in the right form on the 31st of August against (FYR of) Macedonia."
Turkey also improved on their recent form at the BEKO Supercup in Bamberg by recording a 70-64 win over New Zealand.
Enes Kanter poured in 14 points, Kerem Tunceri 12 and Omer Asik 11 for the Turks.