The Slovenia Times

Slovenia step closer to basketball World Cup quarter-finals

Okinawa, Japan
The Slovenian men's basketball team beats Georgia in the second game of the preliminary round of the FIBA World Cup.
Photo: FIBA
Slovenia took an important step towards securing a berth to the FIBA World Cup quarter-finals by beating Georgia 88:67 in Okinawa on 28 August to clinch the first spot in their preliminary play group.

Like in the opening game against Venezuela, Slovenia flew on the back of NBA superstar Luka Dončić, who collected 34 points, 10 rebounds and 6 assists.

Head coach Aleksander Sekulić was very pleased with the performance of the Slovenian team, which had struggled in the defence against Venezuela.

"We prepared well for Georgia, knowing that they are a very tough team. The players stuck to the plan to the very last detail. Everyone who came on the court left their heart there. We fought as a team and won as a team, that's the most important thing," he said.

Klemen Prepelič, Slovenia's second-leading scorer with 15 points, also pointed out that the team managed to keep "Georgia, an extremely offence-oriented team, at only 67 points".

Sekulić and Prepelič both expressed concern over shooting guard Jaka Blažič, who had to leave the game mid-way to be rushed to hospital for an MRI scan after receiving a heavy blow to the head and back area.

Slovenia will play Cape Verde in their final Group F game on 30 August. They cannot afford a blunder, as the results will carry over into the second round where two more games are scheduled against a pool of teams presently consisting of Germany, Australia and Japan. The top two teams will qualify for the quarter-finals.

This was the 14th victory for Slovenia - ranked 7th in world following a EuroBasket championship in 2017 and fourth place at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics - in what have been 25 World Cup matches for the team so far.


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