The win of the Maccabi boys over the tall and talented players of former NBA player Sarunas Marčiulionis in Vilnius marked the successful completion of the first youth basketball tournament initiated by the new Israeli Embassy in Lithuania.

 Maccabi boys bring Embassy Cup home to Israel

 

Copyright: Embassy of Israel, Vilnius

(Embassy of Israel, Vilnius)

At the end of a thrilling game in front of the tall and talented players of the Academy of former NBA player Sarunas Marčiulionis in Vilnius, the Maccabi boys team emerged victorious with a score of 87-78. As former Maccabi Tel Aviv star Tal Brody, who accompanied the Maccabi boys team to Lithuania, said: "We’re on the map again" – paraphrasing his historic quote after his team defeated CSKA Moscow in 1977: "We are on the map! And we are staying on the map – not only in sports, but in everything."

The win marked the successful completion of the first youth basketball tournament initiated by the new Israeli Embassy in Lithuania together with the Sarunas Marčiulionis Basketball Academy. "The goal is not to win but to connect Israeli and Lithuanian youth – practicing together, playing together and getting to know one another," said Israel’s Ambassador to Lithuania Amir Maimon.

The tournament took place from August 11-12. The Maccabi team was joined by three Lithuanian teams: the Sarunas Marčiulionis Basketball Academy (Vilnius), which placed second, the Basketball Academy of Šiauliai, which placed third, and the Perkūno Kaunas Basketball Academy, which placed fourth.

Lithuanian basketball is highly regarded in Israel, thanks to former Maccabi Tel Aviv star Šarūnas Jasikevičius. After joining the team in 2003, he helped them win two Euroleague titles, two Israeli League crowns and two Israeli Cups.

The trophies and medals were awarded by Israel Ambassador Amir Maimon, who initiated the tournament, Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius, mythological Maccabi player Tal Brody, and former Lithuanian player Sarunas Marčiulionis.

The Israeli embassy promoted the tournament with a creative campaign using the secret code "8.12" on its Facebook page.