D.Germany’s basketball players failed in the Olympic quarter-finals against the mighty European champions Slovenia around NBA superstar Luka Doncic. With the 70:94 (37:44) on this Tuesday in Saitama, the team of national coach Henrik Rödl missed the first-time qualification for a semi-final at summer games.
While the Slovenes are fighting France or Italy for the final on Thursday, the overall good summer ended in disappointment for the selection of the German Basketball Association. The best thrower was Maodo Lo with eleven points. Doncic came to 20 points and shone with eleven assists as a ball distributor.
“When you lose a game like this, you are disappointed at first. But it doesn’t take long before you can lean back and say: that was a very special summer, “said Rödl and still had to acknowledge:” That was an opponent that we couldn’t get under control in the end. “Danilo Barthel added: “It’s not easy to hold your head up straight after a defeat.” Nevertheless, he went “home with a good feeling that all the work was worth it,” said the winger: “We represented basketball Germany well, that’s why we will we have a very good feeling a day or two apart. “
Slovenia’s superstar faltered
The Slovenes, who were unbeaten in the group stage, got off to a strong start and presented the German team with major problems with their uninterrupted defense. On the offensive, however, the 22-year-old Doncic did not get into the game as he did before. Against Argentina, the guard, who took over the leadership role from Dirk Nowitzki at the Dallas Mavericks and is currently one of the best players in the world, scored 48 points on his own. Now he hit only three of his ten throws by half time and posted six points.
That didn’t bother the Slovenes much, however, as other players like Zoran Dragic stepped in and quickly ensured a comfortable lead. In the second quarter the Germans came into the match better and after three successful three-pointers from Maodo Lo took the lead within just 78 seconds (32:31). When it no longer worked from a distance and there was a lack of playful solutions, the Slovenes pulled away a little more clearly until the break.
Just one win in the tournament
The DBB selection stood in front of empty stands in the Saitama Super Arena for the third time ever in the round of the best eight at the Olympics. 1984 in Los Angeles there was the end against hosts USA, eight years later in Barcelona the Commonwealth of Independent States was a size too big. In Japan, a win against Nigeria in the preliminary round was enough to qualify for the knockout phase as one of the two best third-placed players in the group. The other two encounters against Italy and the medal candidate Australia were lost.
It got more heated against Slovenia in the second half. Lo sustained a bleeding wound from it, Doncic got an elbow in the face on the other side and discussed allegedly contentious situations with the referees several times. The favored European champion defended a lead of around ten points without wasting too much strength. Until the end of the period, there was never a feeling that Germany could come dangerously close again. Instead, the Slovenes played their extra class – and in the end caused a clear defeat for the German selection.