SLOVENIA – For the very first time since its independence Slovenian basketball team got the golden medal at the 2017 edition of Eurobasket last night in Istanbul. Eurovision stars of course immediately celebrated the triumph in the social media as you can see below. Congratulations to Slovenia and now the next triumph is to get your first ever Eurovision cup!
INFORMATION ABOUT THE GAME
Slovenia became the EuroBasket champion for the first time after holding off Serbia 93-85. Slovenia outscored Serbia 13-3 over the final 3:30 despite the fact that its two biggest stars, Goran Dragic and Real Madrid sensation Luka Doncic were on the bench with injuries. Dragic scored all of his 35 points in the first three quarters before Levallois Metropolitans swingman Klemen Prepelic and Real Madrid big man Anthony Randolph led Slovenia down the stretch.
Prepelic finished with 21 points and Randolph tallied 11 points and blocked 3 shots. Bogdan Bogdanovic, who helped Fenerbahce Dogus Istanbul win the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague crown on the same floor back in May, led Serbia with 22 points and FC Bayern Munich big man Milan Macvan added 18. The game was close from the start and Serbia led 20-22 after 10 minutes. Slovenia made its move when Dragic scored the last 6 points in an 11-0 run to make it 38-28.
Serbia wiped away half of its deficit through a three-point play by FC Bayern Munich forward Vladimir Lucic and a triple by Fenerbahce’s Marko Guduric. Back-to-back threes by Dragic restored a double-digit Slovenia lead, but Bogdanovic cut the margin to 56-47 at halftime. Dragic opened the second half with a three that gave Slovenia its largest lead, 12. Doncic left with an apparent ankle injury midway through the third quarter as Bogdanovic helped power Serbia back.
Anadolu Efes Istanbul center Vladimir Stimac finished inside to make it 63-61. Slovenia scored the next 6 points and managed to keep a 71-67 edge entering the fourth quarter. MoraBanc Andorra guard Jaka Blazic extended the Slovenia lead to 75-67, but Serbia would not be denied. Macvan capped a 0-8 Serbia charge for his team’s first lead of the second half, 77-78. Prepelic put Slovenia back on top with a triple as a tense finish started to brew.
The game was tied at 80-80 and 82-82 before Prepelic came through with another big shot and Randolph scored in the paint. Prepelic, who was fouled attempting a three-pointer with 1:05 remaining, made 2 of the resulting shots and Brose Bamberg guard Aleksej Nikolic all but iced the game with 2 free throws with 35 seconds left that capped a 10-0 surge.