Doncic’s star shines Slovenia’s path to the semifinal

2017-09-12T22:29:20+00:00 2017-09-13T18:08:45+00:00.

Antonis Stroggylakis

12/Sep/17 22:29

In what was by far the most beautiful and exciting game in the EuroBasket so far, Slovenia defeated Latvia to advance to the semifinals for the first time since 2009.

By Eurohoops team/

It was a game for the ages: Prolific offenses, sensational highlights, acts of heroism by stars and not so famous hoopers, many runs, and comebacks, 200 points in total plus your “mandatory” bickering among players that led to two ejections in the last seconds.

In the end, a highly determined, smarter and well-read Slovenia outlasted Latvia 103 – 97 and advanced to the continental semifinals after an 8-year break.

Call me Luka: This kid never ceases to amaze us. In just 18 years of age, Luka Doncic registered a new overall career-high of 27 points and he did so in what was perhaps the most crucial game he has ever played so far.

Furthermore, he dropped 8 crucial points (including two huge triples, one of them a buzzer beater) in the mid of the fourth quarter to put his team at a 91 – 83 pole position with 3:34 left. He completed his display with a 4/4 from the line in the last seconds that “sealed” the victory for his team.

In addition to the above feats, he added a game-high 9 rebounds and an incredible number of only 1 turnover in the 36 minutes he spent on the floor and that is what once again makes you realize why the young Madridista is so freaking special.

The Unicorn’s last stand: Slovenia had taken a 13-point advantage, 79 – 66 early in the fourth quarter, following a commanding 25 – 11 third quarter. Porzingis then got energized with 11 personal points that made it 91 – 89, the three-pointer for the 93 – 92 and one more bucket that kept his team close 97 – 94 with 35 seconds left. Yet, Latvia never managed to even tie the score, despite his overall epic efforts which produced a new international career-high of 34 points plus 6 rebounds.

We have to talk about Gasper: Gasper Vidmar did a lot more than simply try to tire or annoy Porzingis. Apart from finishing with 9 points (including a mean dunk in the second half), he hustled big time to pull off some vital defenses (4 blocks, 6 rebounds) that preserved the lead Slovenia grabbed after the break.

Dragic on a mission: Last, but definitely not least… the “Dragon”. Another fiery show by Goran with 26 points, 8 assists and 6 rebounds (a statline that makes up for his 6 turnovers) whose contribution went above numbers since he provided leadership and guidance on and off the court, helping his teammates retain their calm and focus down the stretch.

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