A mostly Dragonless Slovenian team fought hard in the second half to beat the strong and agile Angola that showcased some great shooting. I will not mention the awful refs, I will not mention the awful refs...damn
A shorter summary this time, I wasn't able to write it while watching the game. Plus, there really isn't that much to talk about.
First period a.k.a. is it game-time already?
Slovenia started really lackadaisical, not really paying attention on defense and moving way to slof on offense. It took two minutes for them to score, predictably with a shot form deep. Goran got an offensive foul in his first real drive (bs call, the opposing player was clearly moving his feet) and got a bit vocal with the refs, earning him a technical foul on the spot. Klobucar immediately replaced him, something he wasn't really ready for and it took some time for him to get warmed up, all the while Angola was pushing hard on D and winning the battle on the boards. There really wasn't anything else worth mentioning, the score was 17 all at the end of the first. Not something we wanted, but not completely unexpected, if we're honest as this team clearly lacks motivation against "lesser" opponents.
Second period a.k.a. Goran Dragic show jr.
Angola scored 8 consecutive points in less then a minute but The Dragon brothers with Domen Lorbek quickly answered right back, Goran with 5 consecutive points, Lorbek with a three to even the score at 25. But Angola was fighting back, taking the lead with some good ball movement and great hustle on the offensive boards. Enter the Dragon, with drives, kicks and shots from deep, he scored 14 in the period, and Slovenia came out on top at 44:43 at the half.
Third period a.k.a. the Ref show
Slovenia started the second half with some good ball movement and finally involving their bigs that were clearly superior in their ball-handling and footwork but there's no jumping over the Angolans, not without some mayor team hustle. The refs (damn, sorry about that, again) were still calling some ticky-tack fouls and Zdovc got a technical foul after expressing his opinion in a manner unbecoming a coach. A fe seconds later, another technical foul was given to Balazic just because (who was perfect from behind the line up to that point 3 for 3) and two good attacks later Angola was up by 8. But Slovenia fought back with good hustle on D and afther three periods, Angola was up by a point with 65:66.
Fourth period a.k.a. Ok guys, let's make things right
With Dragic on the bench, Slovenia couldn't get the lead it wanted but Edo Muric brought some energy to the team, fighting on D and hitting a three to push the score to 79:74, Slovenia's biggest lead up to that point. A few minutes later Klemen Prepelic finally hit his first three point shot of the tournament and made it a 10 point game with a little over 3 minutes left in the game. Angola didn't give up, scored two consecutive threes and tried everything to pull off the upset and qualify for the next round, though they were visibly exhausted. Full court pressing didn't do anything other than give Lorbek a few freebie shots from the line, upping his total points to 17, making him the best scorer on the Slovenian team. Final score was 93:87
A must win game, Slovenia remained undefeated and kept the first place in the group. Considering all the other scores in their group today, Slovenia will keep first place after the game against Lithuania with a win or with a loss with less than 8 points, but let's all hope it doesn't get to that, as Lithuania is beatable (shown by Australia, who were themselves beat by Dragon and co.). Plus, winning the group stage, Slovenia avoids team USA until the semifinals, giving them much better chances to actually get a good result.
Goran had early temper/foul trouble, limiting his playing time to only 17 minutes (a blessing in disguise probably) and 14 points (shooting 5/8 including 4/6 form deep) all scored in the second period, and two assists together with three fouls and rebounds as well. One more Dragonsanity tomorrow and then the real fun starts.