Slovenia stays alive and finds itself two wins away from Paris • Basket USA


The scare of the match against Croatia is erased. Slovenia qualified for the semi-finals of the Piraeus OQT in Greece on Thursday, thanks to its victory over New Zealand. The Slovenians had to win by at least ten points to avoid elimination, or even win by 29 points to take the lead in Group A, but they ultimately failed by a whisker, winning 104-78. Luka Doncic was once again the detonator of this big success with an XXL triple-double: 36 points (but at 9/25 shooting…) 11 rebounds and 10 assists.

Slovenia had set themselves on the royal road to turning everything around by leading 27-9 at the end of the first quarter. But the Tall Blacks were able to keep their heads down and come back before the break, causing doubts to run through the minds of the European selection (46-39). Generally in control, the teammates of naturalized Josh Nebo, author of his first quality performance with his new passport (20 points, 12 rebounds), relaxed a little at the end of the match. The New Zealanders came back to -15, less than four minutes from the final buzzer, five small points from a potential sensation.

One last push, then Luka Doncic and his team were even able to dream of a crazy scenario at the buzzer as the Mavs star and Josh Nebo had the 3-point shot to secure a 29-point victory and first place. Instead, a clash with Greece looms in the semifinals for a tasty Doncic – Giannis duel. A victory against Egypt on Thursday evening, and the Greeks will win their group.

Insane finish sends Philippines to semis in Riga

The crazy scenario of the first matches of the day of these TQO took place in Riga, between the Filipinos and the Georgians. The latter had to win by at least 20 points to overtake the Philippines and obtain a place in the semi-finals. The contract was fulfilled after 13 minutes of play and a score of 40 to 20, thanks to a 16-0 in the first five minutes! But Goga Bitadze’s teammates were unable to hold the distance against the 13/23 from afar of Justin Brownlee (28 points) and his team.

The pivot recently re-signed by the Magic then tried a crazy poker move, while the Filipinos had been sent to the free throws with three seconds left. At +2 for his country, Goga Bitadze took advantage of the opponent’s missed free throw to try to deliberately miss his rebound, thus scoring an own goal and sending the game into overtime, offering a final five-minute chance to create the gap! It was a waste of time, since the attempt from the inside bounced around the circle without going in for a paradoxical success (96-94) synonymous with elimination.

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