How suitable. He lifted them up, so they lifted him up.
Doncic and Slovenia are heading to the Olympics for the first time, having won 96-85 in Lithuania on Sunday to clinch a berth at the Tokyo Games. Doncic – the MVP of the Kaunas, Lithuania tournament – was just brilliant: 31 points, 11 rebounds and 13 assists, the first triple-double by any player in any of the four Olympic qualifying tournaments that have been disputed last week. to determine the last four teams in the Olympic field.
“I don’t care about the MVP,” Doncic said. “We won here. We are going to the Olympics, the first time in our country. It’s incredible. I think all children dream of participating in the Olympics. I did it too. So here we are. We fought really, really hard and I think we deserve to be here. “
The game was tied 52-52 at halftime, and Slovenia opened the third to an 11-2. Lithuania eventually closed 71-69, but a 14-0 run by Slovenia put the Doncic club in control for good.
And when the last seconds passed, Doncic raised his arms to the sky in celebration.
“We are writing the history of our country,” Doncic said. “We can just go up from here. “
Lithuania was one of four nations to host the Olympic qualifiers which ended on Sunday, all four being win-win events, with one team from each region making the ground for Tokyo.
And the four home teams, which seemed to have major advantages being at home, failed to make it through the Olympics. Slovenia beat Lithuania in the final, Croatia and Canada lost the semi-finals – and reigning Olympic silver medalists Serbia were stunned by Italy in a regional final on Sunday.
“A huge disappointment. Lithuanian coach Darius Maskoliunas said. “We lost at home. We expected a better result. “
Slovenia will be placed in Group C for the Tokyo Games, one of three groups of four teams at the Olympics. Slovenia face Argentina on July 26, Japan on July 29 and defending World Cup champions Spain on August 1. The top two teams from each group, plus two wild cards, will advance to the Olympic quarter-finals.
“It’s just one of the best feelings,” Doncic said. “We have worked hard for this. “
Vlatko Cancar scored 18 for Slovenia, including 16 from Jaka Blazic and 13 from Mike Tobey.
Jonas Valanciunas, Arnas Butkevicius and Mantas Kalnietis each scored 14 for Lithuania, which will miss the Olympics for the first time since gaining independence from the Soviet Union; he had been at each of the last seven Olympics, starting in 1992.
Eimantas Bendzius scored 11 and Marius Grigonis added 10 for Lithuania.
BELGRADE, REGION OF SERBIA
ITALY 102, SERBIA 95: Italy entered Serbia and managed a stun, knocking out the team that finished second behind the United States at the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Games.
Nico Mannion scored 24 points, Achille Polonara scored 22 and Italy reached the Olympics for the first time since the Athens Games in 2004, leading up to 24 points past a stunned arena in Belgrade.
Simone Fontecchio scored 21, Stefano Tonut 15 and Alessandro Pajola 10 for Italy. The Italians will be in Group B at the Olympic Games in Tokyo, facing Germany – another winner on Sunday – on July 25, Australia on July 28 and Nigeria on July 31.
Danilo Andjusic scored 27 for Serbia, while Filip Petrusev scored 22 and Ognjen Dobric added 17.
SPLIT, REGION OF CROATIA
GERMANY 75, BRAZIL 64: Moritz Wagner scored 28 points and Germany returns to the Olympics for the first time since 2008, having dominated Brazil to win the qualifying tournament in Split, Croatia.
Robin Benzing scored 13 points and Maodo Lo scored 10 for Germany, who are aiming for their first Olympic medal in men’s basketball.
Germany will be in Group B at the Tokyo Games, against Italy on July 25, Nigeria on July 28 and Australia on July 31.
Anderson Varejao scored 14 points and Alex Garcia finished with 10 for Brazil.