KAUNAS (Lithuania) – Luka Doncic produced an incredible triple-double performance to send Slovenia to the Olympics for the first time as they defeated Lithuania 96-85 in Sunday’s Final.
The 22-year-old star put up 31 points, 11 rebounds and 13 assists in a display for the ages in front of 11,561 fans at the Zalgiris Arena in Kaunas. Slovenia head to the Tokyo 2020 Men’s Basketball Olympic Tournament while Lithuania will miss out on the Games for the first time.
Turning point: Twice Lithuania responded when down by double-digits to almost immediately clawing back the deficit. But a third rally proved one too many as Slovenia made another move late in the third with a 14-0 run across quarters as Vlatko Cancar repeatedly made big shots. That spell proved to be the difference as Slovenia stayed in control to win.
Game heroes: Doncic did it all for Slovenia with a memorable performance to lead the way for Slovenia, including 15 points in the second quarter on his way to his monster stat line. Jaka Blazic came out firing and added 16 points alongside Cancar, who overcame an injury scare in the Semi-Finals to play a key role.
Stats don’t lie: Lithuania shot 56 percent from the floor in the first half, but went in level having missed seven free throws in that span. However, it’s difficult to look beyond the stat line of Doncic and his efficiency value of 42 in the biggest game of the week.
Bottom line: History for Slovenia. They will be heading to Tokyo to take on the world’s best in an Olympics for the first time with one of the world’s best players leading the charge.