Saitama, Jul 31 (EFE) .- Luka Doncic. The description of the next rival of the Spanish basketball team is reduced to a proper name: that of the player who governs the destinies of Slovenia, who scores, assists, rebounds and dominates the games with insulting ease, in the duel for the first place of the Group C this Sunday at 17.20 local time (10.20 CET).
He is one of the undisputed stars of these Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. His teammates assure that going to eat with him at the Olympic Village requires two hours to solve the flood of photographs and signatures that all athletes request from the Dallas player Mavericks of the NBA.
“What impacts me the most is not so much the numbers that he reaps, but the feeling that this team is giving everyone, it seems unbeatable, and he seems unstoppable. Luka has not lost a game with the Slovenian national team and it is a fact, It is not just numbers and statistics, it is a winner that drags a good team that has found a very good way to follow him “, analyzed the Spanish coach Sergio Scariolo.
The epithets seem to end with a player who in his debut in the Olympic Games was about to break the historical record for scoring – he scored 48 points, 11 rebounds and 6 assists against Argentina, and was just seven from the scoring milestone of the Brazilian Oscar Schmidt- and in the second against Japan, in just 26 minutes on the court, he had 25 points, 7 rebounds and 7 assists.
It was confirmed with bitterness by the Argentine coach Sergio ‘Oveja’ Hernández, the first to cross the Slovenian storm. “The analysis of the game is called Luka Doncic, for me, and I said it two years ago, the best player in the world, including the NBA. If I had any doubts, I already took them off. He is the best player in the world,” he said.
DUEL OF STYLES
Beyond Doncic, and how to stop his offensive production, scoring and serving for the others, there is much more to analyze about this Spain-Slovenia in terms of the way both teams play, practically opposite.
If Slovenia is the epitome of basketball in transition, on the run, playing to many points (118 to Argentina and 116 to Japan) and leaving defense aside; Spain is the opposite, a team that lays the foundations in a solidarity and union defensive effort, which has not exceeded 90 points per game: it scored 88 against Japan and 81 against Argentina.
It is not that Spain does not know how to run, in fact it has terribly gifted players such as point guard Ricky Rubio and Sergio ‘Chacho’ Rodríguez, guard Sergio Llull or forward Rudy Fernández; but he builds the games from the defensive effort, an inexcusable element in Scariolo’s plans.
In this way, whoever dominates the ‘tempo’ of the game will have a lot to win. Japan coach Julio Lamas of Argentina dissected him after playing Slovenia.
“Spain is a good team in transitions, (Sergio) Scariolo was responsible in Toronto for transitions, and he made an incredible team, but they made 78 possessions and 88 plays per game, Slovenia does 20 more. It will really be a fun game to watch. all over the world, “I consider.
In this duel for the rhythm of the match, the base pairing between Luka Doncic and Ricky Rubio takes on particular importance. The Catalan point guard is on a roll: he had 22 points and 9 assists against Japan and 25 with 5 rebounds and 4 assists against Argentina.
Spain benefits from their great moment, but wants to get away from the ‘Rickydependencia’ and against Doncic they will need a great collective defense to stop the phenomenal Slovenian player.
The prize for the winner is to be first in the group and probably avoid the United States, which logically will be the best second in the group if they beat the Czech Republic, so they would go in the same hype of the quarterfinal draw. A hearty reward for a popcorn duel.
Squad of Slovenia:
Number Name Age Height Position
5 Luka Rupnik 28 1.86 Base
6 Aleksej Nikolic 26 1.91 Base
7 Klemen Prepelic 28 1.89 Escort
8 Edo Muric 29 2.02 Forward
9 Mike Tobey 26 2.13 Center
10 Jaka Blazic 31 1.96 Guard
15 Gregor Hrovat 26 1.96 Forward
27 Ziga Dimec 28 2.11 Center
30 Zoran Dragic 32 1.96 Forward
55 Jakob Cebasek 30 2.00 Forward
77 Luka Doncic 22 2.01 Small forward
mam / lm
(c) EFE Agency