The gold medal game against the USA follows for France
By Johnny Askounis at eurohoops.net / firstname.lastname@example.org
A thrilling encounter leads France to the win, 90-89, over Slovenia and to the Olympic Games gold medal game.
It came down to Nicolas Batum blocking Klemen Prepelic in the dying seconds of the exciting semifinal. His side on the slimmest of leads moves on to Saturday’s gold medal game versus Team USA. The Blues had defeated the United States in their Tokyo opener. Also, most players were on the 2019 FIBA World Cup squad that knocked out the United States in the quarterfinals.
Batum ensuring the chance for a third win in a row against Team USA with the heroic rejection ended up with four blocks plus three points, five rebounds, and three assists. Four more blocks by Rudy Gobert paired with his nine points and 16 rebounds.
Timothe Luwawu Cabarrot, apart from guarding Luka Doncic for large stretches, hit a huge triple for a 90-85 lead with 56.1 seconds remaining. He registered 15 points in Thursday’s contest at Saitama Super Arena. Nando De Colo scored a game-high 25 points to go along with seven rebounds and five assists. Evan Fournier went for 23 points until fouling out during the crazy final minute.
Slovenia was in control for the majority of the first half as the triple-double watch for Doncic kicked off early. The national team led by Aleksander Sekulic recovered from a sluggish start to the second half storming back from France’s largest lead at ten points but ultimately fell narrowly short from victory.
Mike Tobey, enjoying multiple Doncic feeds, logged a team-high 23 points, while Prepelic ended up with 17 points. The Slovenian national team and Dallas Mavericks star finished with 16 points, 18 assists, and ten rebounds.
Doncic became the third player posting a triple-double in the history of the Olympic Games. Alexander Belov shaped the first with 23 points, 14 rebounds, and ten assists in 1976. LeBron James followed with 11 points, 14 rebounds and 12 assists in 2012.
France’s Andrew Albicy was held out due to a thigh injury. He will be re-evaluated ahead of the gold medal match versus the USA.
Slovenia will face Australia in the bronze medal game.
Photo Credit: FIBA.BASKETBALL