By Antonis Stroggylakis/ email@example.com
In a close game with Luka Doncic all but unstoppable, Slovenia defeated France, 88-82, at Lanxess Arena Wednesday.
With first place in Group B of 2022 EuroBasket at stake, Slovenia got the job done behind Doncic firing at all cylinders throughout the Gameday 5 contest. From 27 points at the break to set the second-best EuroBasket scoring effort ever at 47 points fueled by 15/23 field goals. Seven rebounds, five assists, and one steal, in 38 minutes.
The prolific showing included an injury scare for the cornerstone of the Dallas Mavericks franchise. Late in the first half, he was unlucky to be on the receiving end of a blow to the head but recovered during the break and got right back on track pouring ten of his points in the third quarter and ten more in the last ten minutes.
Packing the key steal leading to the go-ahead bucket with 1:20 remaining and an ensuing two-point off a steal of his brother Zoran, Goran Dragic of the Chicago Bulls drew up 14 points. Vlatko Cancar of the Denver Nuggets combined six points with five rebounds. Returning to action after getting injured in the tipoff of the Gameday 4 fixture opposite Germany yesterday, Mike Tobey (ankle) was ruled out against France.
“It was tough, having one more important game in less than 24 hours against a team which in my opinion is among the top four of this tournaments”, said Slovenian forward Edo Muric.
On the losing end, Minnesota Timberwolves newcomer Rudy Gobert stood out with 19 points. Evan Fournier got to 15 points and free agent Thomas Heurtel posted a 10-point, 10-assist double-double. The Blues managed without Guerschon Yabusele (thigh). The Real Madrid big is expected to be available in the next stage of the tournament in Berlin.
At 4-1, Slovenia will match up with the fourth seed of Group B. France was downed to 3-2 and landed the third seed, while Germany was confirmed into the second seed before completing the Cologne group by taking on Hungary later today.
“We know that Turkey is a very physical team with personalities like Osman, Korkmaz, and Shane Larkin in the backcourt and a presence like Sengun in the front line, but we are also strong and we want to go to the final”, said coach Vincent Collet commenting on the matchup versus the second seed of Group A.
Photo Credit: FIBA.BASKETBALL