BarcelonaThe Spanish men’s basketball team lost to Slovenia (87-95) and as a penance will have to play the quarterfinals of the Olympic tournament against the United States, France or Australia. The team coached by Sergio Scariolo squandered a difference of 12 points against a rival who knew how to decipher the defensive strategy of the Italian coach in a very different second half to the first.
Luka Doncic, who still has never lost to the Slovenian national team, was left with a triple-double assist. The Dallas Mavericks player added 12 points, 14 rebounds and 9 assists in a game that was very uncomfortable for him as he had to overcome a handful of mixed defenses and the assignment of level defenders Victor Claver, Usman Garuba, Alberto Abalde or Àlex Abrines. Displaced during a first quarter in which he committed three personal fouls, the Slovenian managed to stay in a discreet background and transfer the offensive responsibility to teammates like Mike Tobey, Vlatko Cancar and Klemen Prepelic. The tactic worked and Spain proved that Slovenia is much more than their NBA star.
After Spain was unable to manage a 12-point difference at the start of the third period (55-43), the match came evenly in the final stretch, where Slovenia had the clearest ideas. With 87-90 on the scoreboard and 10 seconds to play, Ricky Rubio missed a triple and the opponent was able to sentence the Spanish team. The Masnou base added 18 points and 9 assists, but could not repeat the good aim in the outside shot of other days. Alberto Abalde and Rudy Fernández became his most regular allies during a match in which the inside game did not compete at its usual level.
Women’s Combined Triumph (66-76)
The Spanish women’s team continues its good line in the Olympic Games. The team coached by Lucas Mondelo defeated Canada (66-76) in a harder match than indicated by the scoreboard and will play in the quarterfinals. “I am very happy because the team has won all three games, we are classified for fourth and we are giving a very good image, showing that Spain is still in a phase of growth. As in 2012-2013, we look to the future, but we also compete and I am very proud of it ”, analyzes the Catalan coach, who emphasized the prominence of Queralt Casas coming off the bench. After not playing against Serbia, the Bescanó player was a key player in the game with 8 points, 5 assists and 3 rebounds. “I didn’t play a minute the other day. It’s tricky when you’re used to playing a very important role on the team, but I was focused, waiting for the opportunity and things went well. They might not have come out well, but the effort and effort I put into it. When you don’t have confidence, it’s harder for things to work out for you, but now I’m crying because I’ve taken the tension out of me, ”admits Casas. The main weight fell again on the base Cristina Ouviña, who added 15 points and 7 assists, and the pivots Astou Ndour, who reached 35 credits and Laura Gil.