Slovenia takes the win in their first World Cup game behind the fire breathing Dragon. Final score 90:80.
First game of the World Cup proved to be a real thrill for Slovenian fans. And for Goran Dragic fans especially. He came out strong and though limited to only 26 minutes (due to foul trouble) still managed to get team highs in most categories. His full stat line read 21 points on 8/12 shooting, 7 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals and 4 fouls with 5 turnovers. That's very impressive considering defenses are preparing especially for him. Can't stop the Dragon.
The full game stats can be found here. You can find some game highlights on this page. Not much of Goran for some reason, but you can see a nice Zoran Dragi? move at the end of the second video, which features the last 5 minutes of the 3rd. Hopefully more Dragon highlights will come.
After game statements
This was a very important game for us. I think we did a good job. We showed our true character and proved we're a team, not just individual players. I'm not completely satisfied with my game yet. I can feel I'm missing (more) games. I'm out of breath quickly and that's also probably why I made some stupid mistakes.
We won the rebound game, but I think it was decided by the pick and roll. We knew they have Baynes, Jawai and especially Anderson, are very bad on defense in pick, so we mostly played pick and roll, penetrated, got baskets from it and deservingly won. They are a very physical team. Like you could see they were pressuring the play during the whole game. They tried to tire us out, and it worked a bit. But in the end we kept a fairly cool head to bring the game to a finish. Now we have to take care of business through the rest of the games against (Lithuania) Korea, Angola and Mexico.
I want to congratulate the players. This was entirely their win. They played at a high level. Even when we fell and had problems, we picked ourselves up. In fact everyone who stepped on court gave their part. They were fearless and firm. It wasn't easy, it was a hard game for everyone. We got rid of the pressure. There was the right spark. We felt it in the morning that it was right. They came together like they're suppose to.
Team Slovenia is playing Mexico tomorrow at the same time as today 5.30pm Slovenian time (8.30am Phoenix). If all goes according to plan this should be an easy win for Slovenia (I should knock on wood), especially if the Dragon continues with this type of efficiency.