Inglorious Slovenia and Doncic’s psychosis


The match between Slovenia and Australia, of course, was not any game for bronze medals. Initially, his plot was much more global: it was decided who would be labeled as the main loser at the end of the Olympic tournament.

The Australians, who have been quite highly quoted before each Olympics for the past 10 years, have been dancing around the podium as a result, but slipping right on the ground: 4th place in Rio as the apogee of the ordeal.

As for Slovenia, the reigning European champions under the businesslike leadership of Doncic before and during the tournament demonstrated such basketball that many reasonably saw them not only as finalists, but also as favorites of the main match. As a result, both teams burst in the semifinals and went to rake in the least valuable precious metals presented at the Olympics.

The most interesting at the start was Luka Doncic’s bickering with Dante Exam. The Slovenian, who immediately after the loss to the United States hung all the dogs and mascots of the Olympics on the judges with FIBA, clearly did not move away from defeat and threw reproaches towards everyone and everything. Exam, who took care of him, got more than the others, which clearly did not suit the Australians. They started the game rather passively, at the end of the quarter they started up and with the efforts of Patti Mills returned – 20-19 in favor of Australia.

Patti Mills and Ingles were objectively doing well, but Slovenia was more varied. Blazhich and Dragich fiddled with the Australians’ defenses from afar, Prepelich was active in the aisles, and Dimets moved under the ring. And all this without Doncic chilling on the bench. It seemed like let go of Luca and you could spurt, but similar situations happened during the season and in Dallas. The presence of Doncic on the court a priori shifts the emphasis, making the team dependent and predictable, so Oleksandr Sekulich was reinsured to the last. And as it turned out, not in vain.

Doncic’s return to the floor provoked a series of losses, which coincided with Patti Mills’ regular insight for the Australians. Australia’s point guard scored 26 points by the long break, while none of the Slovenes knocked out even 10 points.

And yet the main intermediate result of the Australians was not a difference of +8, but something else. The second quarter became a clear demonstration of the emotional immaturity of Doncic, who turned into a dummy before our eyes. He muttered displeasedly towards the judges, simulated ridiculous throws in an attempt to provoke a foul, and when the whistle was silent, he sulked and threw up his hands. In general, he demonstrated excellent inclinations for a pantomime actor of the Youth Theater, but not a leader of a team playing in a match for Olympic medals.

Actually, the second half began with breaking through the technical, given to Doncic for talking. At that moment, it became finally clear that basketball faded into the background for the Slovenes. The actual question sounded differently: does Sekulich’s team intend to return or plans to continue analyzing referee decisions. While the Slovenes wrinkled their foreheads, the “kangaroo” rode in their own rhythm, Mills, in addition to three-pointers, began to trade more often against slower defenders and began to stuff Slovenia with passes.

In the circumstances, Australia’s +10 looked logical, but that was before Yaka Blazhich joined, provoking two fouls in a row. Slovenia closed the gap to -6, perked up and forced Brian Gurdjian to take a time out.

After that, hope loomed on the Slovenian horizon, but it quickly disappeared in the shadow of the greatness of Patti Mills, who continued to single-handedly beat Slovenia. Mills scored 42 points and effectively deprived the Slovenes of their chances of returning to the game.

Probably, every team that plans to qualify for high places should go through such emotions, and to some extent it was such a defeat that was necessary for the Slovenian national team, which caught the star fever for a moment. After all, as you know, you cannot fully appreciate the sweetness without tasting the bitterness.

Olympic Games. Tokyo 2020 (Japan)
Basketball. Men. 3rd place match

Slovenia – Australia – 93: 107 (19:20, 26:33, 22:25, 26:29)

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