The Slovenia Times

EuroBasket: Slovenia Knocked Out of Medal Hunt by France


* Stožice Arena, 10,000 spectators, referees: Lamonica (Italy), Lottermoser (Germany), Rizhyk (Ukraine)
* Slovenia: Balažič 2, Joksimovič 2, Blažič 8, Nachbar 10, G. Dragić 18, Z. Dragić 12, Lorbek 8, Vidmar 2
* France: Batum 14 (3:5), Petro 4, Parker 27 (8:9), Pietrus (0:2), De Colo 4, Diaw 10 (4:4), Ajinca 6 (2:2), Gelabale 7 (0:1)
* Free-throws: Slovenia 10/12, France 17/23
* 2-point shooting: Slovenia 17/42, France 23/53
* 3-point shooting: Slovenia 6/25 (Nachbar 2, Blažič 2, G. Dragić, Lorbek), France 3/10 (Batum, Parker, Gelabale)
* Rebounds: Slovenia 39 (24 + 15), France 46 (29 + 17)
* Personal fouls: Slovenia 23, France 19

Slovenian hopes of a medal at the European Champions were dashed by an experienced French team, which found its touch in the second half to outlast the hosts in what had been a defensive affair before the break.

After a scrappy first half which produced a combined 50 points, a rejuvenated France came out to pour in 46 points in the second half, which could not be matched by a Slovenian offence which relied mostly on Goran and Zoran Dragić.

France were led by their star point guard Tony Parker, who scored 27 points, of which 17 came in the second half.

Slovenia struggled with its shot throughout the match, shooting 6 of 25 from beyond the arc, including a dismal 1 of 14 in the first half, but showed flashes of brilliance in open court, especially on fast breaks led by the Dragić brothers.

But with France winning the battle on the boards in the second half, opportunities for fast breaks were few for Slovenia.

France opened up its first major lead early at 36:26 in the fourth minute of the third quarter and Slovenia would never recover. While managing to connect on four three-pointers, Slovenia was unable to get closer than three points (41:44) towards the end of the quarter, only to see France to pull away again early in the final period.

Again down by 10 with six minutes to go in the match, Slovenia mounted another rally, which again fell short as Parker and company punished Slovenia for every unused opportunity.

The loss is Slovenia's fourth loss in five consecutive quarter-final appearances at European Championships. The hosts will now face Serbia in the group playing for 5th to 8th place tomorrow.

France has meanwhile set up a semi-final with Spain, which earlier in the day routed Serbia to become the first team to reach the final four. The match will be a repeat of the EuroBasket final in Lithuania two years ago.


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