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Tiebreaker Times

2023 FIBA World Cup

FIBA: Luka going to Manila as Slovenia boots out Australia

Luka Doncic is headed to Manila.

In a surprising turn of events, Slovenia eliminated reigning Tokyo Olympics bronze medalists Australia 91-80, securing their spot in the quarterfinals of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 on Friday at the Okinawa Arena in Japan.

Slovenia’s win also advanced the fellow undefeated squad, Germany, to the next round. Their showdown on Sunday will determine the top seed in the group.

Doncic delivered an all-around performance with 19 points, seven rebounds, and six assists, leading the 7th-ranked team in the world.

The Boomers nearly mounted a comeback, narrowing the lead to four points in the third quarter, 66-62, after trailing by 14 in the second frame. This resurgence was fueled by a strong run by Josh Giddey, who scored 13 of his 25 points during that stretch.

However, the Junaki (Slovenia) did not allow the comeback to materialize, as they accelerated and built a lead of as much as 19 points in the deciding phase.

“(It was an) excellent game… When we were preparing for the game, it wasn’t easy for me to digest all these players they (Australia) have,” said Slovenia head coach Aleksander Sekulic in the post-game interview.

“They have a really great team: the size, the athleticism they have, and the way we dominated the game, our guys really deserve the credit,” he added.

Mike Tobey also made a significant contribution for Slovenia, recording a double-double with 18 points and 12 rebounds, shooting an impressive 80% (8-of-10) from the field. Meanwhile, Greg Hrovat added 10 points to the scoreboard.

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On the other side, Patty Mills was the second-highest scorer behind Giddey, tallying 17 points and shooting 75% (3-of-4) from behind the arc, in addition to grabbing eight rebounds.

Dante Exum chipped in with 13 points, but it wasn’t enough to boost the Boomers, as Australia never held the lead throughout the game. (Jose Gabriel Ignacio)

The Scores:

Slovenia 91 — Doncic 19, Tobey 18, K. Prepelic 11, Hrovat 10, Cebasek 9, Nikolic 9, Dragic 7, Samar 3, B. Prepelic 3

Australia 80 — Giddey 25, Mills 17, Exum 13, Green 8, Thybulle 6, Daniels 3, Reath 3, Kay 3, White 0, Ingles 0

Quarterscores: 28-18, 49-40, 66-62, 91-80

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