By Eurohoops team / firstname.lastname@example.org
It was an intense battle, but Slovenia came out to the top, to qualify for the Summer Olympics for the first time in the nation’s history.
Luka Doncic saved his best performance for the finale to lift Slovenia to a 96-85 win over tournament hosts Lithuania, in a sold-out final in the Zalgirio Arena in Kaunas.
Doncic recorded his first triple-double with the national team, posting 31 points, 13 assists and 11 rebounds in 33 minutes. This is just his second triple-double outside the NBA. The sheer thought of a triple-double in FIBA basketball is simply insane, though the 22-year-old was set to make history on Sunday evening.
Luka Doncic in the insane first half of the #FIBAOQT final vs. Lithuania: 21 pts, 6 rebs, 5 ast 🔥
Score tied at 52 pointspic.twitter.com/OK545EI4EM
— Eurohoops (@Eurohoopsnet) July 4, 2021
Alongside Doncic, Vlatko Cancar and Jaka Blazic had 18 and 16 points respectively for Aleksander Sekulic’s squad and Mike Tobey added 13.
For Lithuania, this is the first time since their independence that will miss an Olympics appointment. Despite a strong effort in the first half, nothing seemed able to stop Doncic once he opened fire.
Mantas Kalnietis, Arnas Butkevicius and Jonas Valanciunas paced the Lithuanian NT with 14 points each and Eimantas Bendzius left the court with 11 points.
Following the elimination, Lithuanian NT head coach Darius Maskoliunas announced he is stepping down from the selection.