Posts Tagged ‘Slovenia’


After 11 days of competition, the World Cup should be getting tougher, and the great should be known from the good. Blowouts shouldn’t be expected, but underdogs overcoming the odds can happen anytime as we saw in Day 12.

In the first game of the quarterfinals, defending champs Spain played Serbia in a hard fought game that was decided on a near buzzer beater. Serbia came out strong early in the game, riding the hot hands of Nemanja Bjelica and Novica Velickovic – 21 points combined in the first quarter – to take a 27-23 lead at the end of the first. The second quarter played out as the first as Serbia increased its lead to 8 by halftime with the help of Marko Keselj off the bench. Spain started coming back slowly into the game with the help Juan Carlos Navarro (27 points) in the second half, and cut the lead to a mere three points by the end of 3 quarters. Yet the final quarter was the craziest, with Serbia jumping to an 8 point lead with four minutes remaining. Yet Spain wouldn’t die that easily, tying the game with 25 seconds behind Marc Gasol’s basket. Yet the Serbians, leading throughout the game, wanted to take revenge from the Spainards after losing to them in the Euro Basket final last year, and with 3.1 seconds left on the clock, Milos Teodosic knocked down a far straightaway three pointer, to win the game for Serbia 92-89 and shock the world with the win by knocking out the world champs and returning to the semis for the first time since 2002.  Velickovic and Keselj led a balanced effort for Serbia with 17 points apiece as Teodosic had 12.

Not as exciting as the earlier game, Turkey punched Slovenia hard in the stomach as the hosts ran over everywhere from trailing early in the first to take a 13 point lead by the end of the first quarter. It was a cruise from there, with Turkey never letting its foot off the gas, to win the game by 27 points, 95-68 to advance to the semi finals to play Serbia. This is Turkey’s third time in the basketball World Cup, and this will be its first time playing in the medal games, and what better way to have a first other than playing in front of your own crowd. Ersan Ilyasova had 19 points for the Turks while Bostjan Nachbar had 16 for the Slovenians.

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The second day of the Round of 16 wasn’t  as exciting as the first, with both games being one sided  from start to end.

The day started off with Slovenia playing Australia, and once again, the European basketball showed its dominanace over the rest (well, not the North American just yet) andas the Slovenians bombed away for 16 3-pointers out of 33 tries and created a huge deficit in the first half that the Australians could never recover from, after an all around performance from the Slovenian team, led by Jaka Lakovic (19 points), Primoz Brezec (12 points) and Goran Dragic (10 points, 8 assists). Patrick Mills had 13 points for Australia.

In the late night game, the hosts Turkey welcomed the French team and overcame an all around game delivered by Boris Diaw (21 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists) and set up a clash with earlier winners Slovenia by beating France 95-77. Dominating the second and third quarters, Turkey left no hope for France to come back, despite the French trying to come back into the game by winning the 4th quarter. Hedo Turkoglu was Turkey’s star with 20 points, helped by Sunan Guler’s 17 points.