By Eurohoops team / firstname.lastname@example.org
Several preparation games are underway ahead of the Olympic Qualifying Tournaments in late June, with Europe being at the epicenter. Many different tournaments tipped off Friday, with Luka Doncic’s return to action with the Slovenian national team highlighting all action.
Slovenia – Croatia 97-88
It’s been four years since Luka Doncic’s last appearance with the Slovenian NT, though the wait was more than worth it. The 22-year-old Mavericks sensation helped the selection to a tough victory over Croatia, with a double-double of 10 points, 17 assists and 7 rebounds across 28:13 on the court.
Luka Doncic back and ready to roll with Slovenia!pic.twitter.com/Srcg3KEmw6
— Eurohoops (@Eurohoopsnet) June 18, 2021
The Slovenian team was on a roll, as Klemen Prepelic made it rain from the three-point line to end the game with 31 points (6-8 3pt) and Mike Tobey produced 26 points and 11 rebounds for Aleksander Sekulic’s squad.
Another return, this time on the Croatian side stole the show, though the team couldn’t get the victory in the end. Mario Hezonja dropped 37 points and 10 rebounds in his first game with Croatia in five years, while captain Roko Leni Ukic had 23 points.
Acropolis Tournament (Athens, Greece)
Serbia – Puerto Rico 80-67
Serbia suffered a big blow with the absence of NBA MVP Nikola Jokic for this summer’s activities, though managed to get a convincing first win against Puerto Rico.
21-year-old Filip Petrusev posted 21 points to lead Igor Kokoskov’s selection in this win, Ogjen Dobric had 15 points, Danilo Andjusic added 12 and Boban Marjanovic posted 11. Nemanja Bjelica dominated the boards with 12 rebounds to go along with 6 points.
Gary Browne paced Eddie Cassiano’s selection with 19 points, while Isaiah Pineiro and Emmanual Andujar had 10 points each.
Greece – Mexico 101-98
Greece got a bittersweet win against Mexico, in the wake of Georgios Printezis’ injury that will keep him away from the Qualifying Tournament.
Kostas Sloukas paced Rick Pitino’s squad with 24 points, 6 assists, Konstantinos Mitoglou tapped 17 points and 6 rebounds and Georgios Papagiannis had 12 points.
Orlando Menez and Daniel Amigo were the leading scorers for Mexico, with 24 and 21 points respectively.
Supercup 2021 (Hamburg, Germany)
Italy – Tunisia 82-56
Despite lacking stars Marco Belinelli and Gigi Datome, Italy started its preparations with a strong win against Tunisia in Hamburg.
Achille Polonara paced Romeo Sacchetti’s selection with 15 points, 7 rebounds, Stefano Tonut had 14 points, while Leonardo Candi and Niccolo Mannion both tapped 11 points.
Oussama Marnaoui was the only player to score in double digits for Dirk Bauermann’s squad and finished the game with 18 points.
Germany – Czech Republic 95-62
Veteran guard Joshiko Saibou led Germany to a convincing win over the Czech Republic with 20 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, Andreas Obst followed with 16 points and Isaac Bonga tapped 14 points.
Jakub Sirina had 14 points to lead the visiting team and Martin Peterka had 11 points.
Lithuania – Dominican Republic 95-62
Darius Maskoliunas’ selection used the force of Jonas Valanciunas to beat the Dominican Republic in the first game of their Pre-Olympic Tournament. The Lithuanian NT captain had 17 points and 6 rebounds to lead all scorers, Marius Grigonis followed with 13 points and Lukas Lekavicius had 12 points and 5 assists.
Victor Liz and Rigoberto Mendoza paced Melvyn Lopez’s squad with 9 points each.
Turkey – Russia 80-62
Cedi Osman stepped up for the Turkish selection with 14 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists as the team beat Russia with ease to start their preparations for the Olympic Qualifying Tournament.
Draft prospect Alperen Sengun had 13 points and 8 rebounds, Sertac Sanli also added 13 points and captain Melih Mahmutoglu left the court with 11 points.
Timofey Mozgov and Mikhail Kulagin led Russia with 12 points each and Anton Astapkovich had 11 points.
Poland – Latvia 75-73 (OT)
It took an extra five-minute period for Poland to pull through but they managed to beat Latvia in a preparation game in Gliwice.
Mateusz Ponitka was the leading scorer for both sides with 16 points, 3 rebounds and 2 assists. Kristers Zoriks had 14 points, 6 assists and 4 rebounds to pace Latvia, while Dairis Bertans tapped 11.
Head photo: Slovenian Basketball Federation / Twitter (@kzs_si)