By Eurohoops team/ email@example.com
Slovenia beat the Netherlands 81-74 in Zagreb to claim its second victory in Group C after a thrilling game, which was decided in the last seconds.
Although the Netherlands fought for the win until the end, behind Charlon Kloof’s amazing performance in the second half (23 points), two crucial field goals from Zoran Dragic secured the win for the Slovenians.
Klemen Prepelic was the top scorer for the winners with 16 (and six assists), while Kloof ended the game with 25 points and six rebounds for the Dutch team.
“My players played a good game. They played hard, played strong. We played a strong first half. In the second half, we started really bad. I’m not sure why. But, with our fans and some good decisions we stopped them and came back to life,” coach Jurij Zdovc said.
A 14-4 run in the second quarter had given the Slovenians a 12-point advantage at the end of the first half (41-29), but the Netherlands fought back. They outscored their opponents 16-23 in the third quarter to cut the deficit down to five (57-52) and they tied the game (57-57) with 07:29 to go.
With a 10-0 run (67-57), Slovenia regained the lead at this point, but the Dutch team came back again and cut the deficit to just three points (77-74), 23 seconds before the end. However, Zdovc’s squad was solid at the end and earned a much-needed win.
Coach of the Netherlands, Toon Van Helfteren, said: “At this level, if you don’t take care of the basketball that will hurt you. That’s the story of the game – not being ready for the game and having to play some guys too many minutes,which may have cost some turnovers.”
According to the Dutch coach, center Henk Norel went to the hospital afterwards with a knee injury.