Doncic, Slovenia roll to easy Olympic qualifying win
Luka Doncic barely had to play in Slovenia’s Olympic qualifying tournament debut.
Zoran Dragic scored 16 points, Doncic and Vlatko Cancar each added 13 and Slovenia rolled past Angola 118-68 on Wednesday during qualifying play at Kaunas, Lithuania. Doncic only played 17 minutes, checking out for good midway through the third quarter.
“We had a great start,” Doncic said.
The qualifying tournaments going on this week — taking place in Lithuania, Croatia, Serbia and Canada — will determine the final four teams in the men’s field for the Tokyo Olympics. Group play runs through Thursday, followed by semifinals on Saturday at all four sites and finals a day later.
The winners of those four games on Sunday, one team from each site, will be the final additions to the Olympic tournament.
Yanick Moreira scored 15 points for Angola, which was eliminated from Olympic contention with the loss.
Records: Slovenia 1-0, Angola 0-2.
Up next: Slovenia plays Poland on Thursday. Both teams will advance to Saturday’s Kaunas region semifinals.
VICTORIA, CANADA BRACKET
CANADA 109, CHINA 79
Andrew Wiggins scored 20 points and Canada saw seven players reach double figures on the way to an easy win over China and a berth in this weekend’s semifinals of the qualifier at Victoria.
Canada had a huge 55-37 edge in rebounds. RJ Barrett scored 16 points and Andrew Nicholson scored 14 for the winners, who will play a semifinal game on Saturday and are now two wins away from making the Tokyo Games.
Hu Mingxuan scored 24 points for China, which is seeking a 10th consecutive Olympic berth — and now needs to win three consecutive games to make the Tokyo Games.
Records: Canada 2-0, China 0-1.
Up next: China plays Greece on Thursday in an elimination game, with the winner moving to Saturday’s semifinal round.
TURKEY 87, CZECH REPUBLIC 70
Furkan Korkmaz scored 20 points and Turkey moved into the semifinals, closing the game on a 19-9 run over the final 6:25.
Melih Mahmutoglu scored 13 points, Ersan Ilyasova had 12 and Cedi Osman added 11 for Turkey. Tomas Satoransky scored 15 points and Jan Vasely had a 13-point, 11-rebound night for the Czech Republic.
Records: Turkey 2-0, Czech Republic 0-1.
Up next: The Czech Republic plays Uruguay on Thursday in an elimination game.
KAUNAS, LITHUANIA BRACKET
VENEZUELA 94, SOUTH KOREA 80
Venezuela had a 21-point lead in the third quarter trimmed to one before hanging on to defeat South Korea.
Venezuela led 59-38 early in the third before South Korea went on a 26-6 run, drawing within 65-64 on a 3-pointer from Byeon Junhyeong late in the quarter. But Venezuela never lost the lead, and outscored the South Koreans 29-16 in the final 11 minutes.
Heissler Guillent led Venezuela with 17 points, while Pedro Chourlo and Michael Carrera each had 16.
Records: Venezuela 1-1, South Korea 0-1.
Up next: South Korea plays Lithuania on Thursday. FIBA said Venezuela will advance to Saturday’s semifinals, which means the South Korea-Lithuania winner will as well.
SPLIT, CROATIA BRACKET
MEXICO 72, RUSSIA 64
Mexico outscored Russia 19-7 in the third quarter, the decisive 10 minutes in what became an eight-point win.
Francisco Cruz scored 21 points for Mexico. Semen Antonov led Russia with 13 points.
Mexico trailed 38-31 early in the third quarter, then finished on a 41-26 run.
Records: Mexico 1-1, Russia 0-1.
Up next: Russia faces Germany on Thursday in a must-win game for their Olympic hopes.
BRAZIL 94, CROATIA 67
Rafael Hettsheimer scored 20 points and Brazil rolled into a semifinal spot. Bruno Caboclo added 17 points for Brazil, which is now off until Saturday.
Bojan Bogdanovic scored 16 for Croatia.
Records: Brazil 2-0, Croatia 0-1.
Up next: Croatia faces a must-win game against Tunisia on Thursday.
BELGRADE, SERBIA BRACKET
SERBIA 83, PHILIPPINES 76
Boban Marjanovic had 25 points and 10 rebounds as Serbia moved into the semifinals with a hard-fought win.
Ognjen Dobric added 16 for the winners. Kakou Ange Franck Williams Kouame led the Philippines with 17 points.
Records: Serbia 2-0, Philippines 0-1.
Up next: The Philippines plays the Dominican Republic on Thursday in an elimination game.
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