Slovenia bounce back at EuroBasket
Cologne, 7 September - After suffering a defeat at the hands of Bosnia and Herzegovina at the EuroBasket on Sunday, the Slovenian team bounced back last night, beating Germany 88:80 (21:14, 44:36, 61:55).
This is the third victory for the team out in four games at the championship. Sunday's loss against Bosnia marked an end to Slovenia's 11-game winning streak at European championships.
But the players showed their true colours again last night, putting up impenetrable defence and patient and organised pay in the attack despite a bizarre injury of Mike Tobey, who twisted his ankle after jumping on a judge's foot at the start of the game.
Slovenia led the game from the very beginning. Germany, which beat Slovenia in the second round of the second part of World Cup qualifiers just before the EuroBasket ten days ago, was mostly lagging behind.
The game became tight in the third quarter, as Germany was one or two points behind several times, but led by Luka Dončić Slovenia would not let Germans any closer.
Dončić reigned supreme, scoring 36 points and ten rebounds.
Goran Dragić, who played for almost 32 minutes, contributed 18 points and Tobey, who quickly returned after his injury, to play for a total of 25 minutes, scored ten points and eight rebounds.
The victory was celebrated by some 2,000 Slovenians, who were among the 18,000 fans at the Lanxess Arena.
"We've put up a great show and earned the victory. We enjoyed playing in front of the packed stadium and played as we had agreed. We were focussed, ferocious, so we've overcome some of the mistakes that had happened to us," said coach Aleksander Sekulić.
Dončić said they had been well prepared for the rival but foremost played like a team. "It was a team victory and I'm proud of what we've shown.
Slovenia now face France this afternoon for a game that will decide on the first spot in the group B. The winner will take on the fourth team from the group A in the round of 16 in Berlin on Saturday, 10 September.