Doncic counts to 29, but Lithuania win the game

MANILA (Philippines) – Luka Doncic put on a show for 11,003 fans in the Mall of Asia Arena once again, but even with his high scoring game, Slovenia did not have the energy to defeat Lithuania in the Classification Games 5-8.

It finished 100-84, moving Jonas Valanciunas and his crew into an all-Baltic battle for fifth spot with Latvia, while Slovenia also have to play a neighboring derby, facing Italy in the seventh place game.

Turning point: There was no single turning point to this one, it was just a matter of Lithuania having that extra edge throughout 40 minutes. They started the game with 33 points in the first ten minutes, and any time Slovenia got to within five points or less, a barrage of three-pointers would be the answer on the other end.

An 11-2 start to the fourth quarter pushed the lead to +21 after Deividas Sirvydis scored five in a row, marking the start of the celebrations for the colorful group of Lithuanian fans in the stands.

TCL Player of the Game: Jonas Valanciunas collected his 8th double-double in a FIBA Basketball World Cup game, moving closer to Jose Ortiz, the leader over the past 30 years with 10 double-doubles.

The big guy had 24 points and 12 rebounds, and if he plays the fifth place game, he could get into the top 5 in rebounding in World Cup history. He needs five more rebounds to overtake Pau Gasol in fifth spot.

Stats don’t lie: Lithuania’s three-point shooting has done the trick once again. They hit 14-of-25 from deep, way better shooting than Slovenia’s 15-of-40 from the same distance.

Bottom line: Lithuania and Latvia dreamed of seeing each other in the Final, but will instead play for the fifth place in a game which could see one of the loudest atmospheres in Manila to date.

Honorable mention goes to Vaidas Kariniauskas, who dished out 10 assists without a single point. The only other player to do it over the last 30 years was Marcelo Milanesio for Argentina in 1994.

Slovenia got 29 points from Luka Doncic, but he shot just 7-of-21 from the field, with 6 rebounds, 3 steals and 2 assists.

They said: “We tried to match their quality, and in some moments we did it, we came to -2 in the third quarter, but could not maintain that level of play for the rest of the game. They made a lot of open shots, we missed all of them, that’s why they deserved to win.” – Aleksej Nikolic, Slovenia

“I think Lithuania had an amazing tournament. They were dominating the first stage, they beat everybody by double digits, they beat the United States, and then they had one bad game against Serbia that put them in the spot to fight for the fifth place. We knew that they have a great team and play great basketball, but tonight it wasn’t a fair fight. We could not match their energy, we were soft, they prevailed on both ends, did exactly what they wanted to do.” – Aleksander Sekulic, Slovenia head coach

“It was tough to find energy after the loss to Serbia, but I’m happy we found it, I’m happy we came really prepared and ready for this game. We’re not gonna give up. We’re playing for our country, for the fans, for people who come to support us, people who are watching us on TV screens. We’re gonna fight until the end.” – Jonas Valanciunas, Lithuania

“I am very happy that the team found the motivation, and extra effort for this game. We wanna show everybody that this one loss was accidental.” – Kazys Maksvytis, Lithuania head coach



您的电子邮箱地址不会被公开。 必填项已用 * 标注