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Lithuania torches Luka Doncic’s Slovenia to get likelihood at fifth place

Lithuania's Jonas Valanciunas against Slovenia's Luka Doncic

Lithuania’s Jonas Valanciunas in opposition to Slovenia’s Luka Doncic in a Fiba World Cup classification recreation. –MARLO CUETO/INQUIRER.web

MANILA, Philippines — Jonas Valanciunas dropped a double-double to steer the balanced assault of Lithuania to trounce the Luka Doncic-led Slovenia, 100-84, and advance to the Battle for fifth of the Fiba World Cup 2023 on Thursday at Mall of Asia Enviornment.

The 6-foot-11 Valanciunas imposed his will contained in the paint with 24 factors and 12 rebounds for an opportunity to place the Lithuanians at fifth place after they tackle Latvia on Saturday night.

“We’re enjoying for the followers, We’re enjoying for the folks, who got here right here to help us. We’re not gonna quit these two video games. In all probability, don’t imply an excessive amount of however we’re combating for our folks, our nation,” Valanciunas instructed reporters.

“Everyone performed arduous. Everyone contributed. Everyone gave the whole lot on the court docket. We’re nonetheless gonna play our basketball, our identification. Another recreation left,” he added.

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The Lithuanians held Doncic to 1-of-10 capturing within the second half. The Dallas Mavericks star’s solely discipline aim got here from a trey within the last 34 seconds of the sport.

Slovenia captain Luka Doncic.

Slovenia captain Luka Doncic. –MARLO CUETO/INQUIRER.web

The Slovenian captain completed with 29 factors — 19 from the primary half — to go together with six rebounds, three steals, and two assists as his workforce suffered its third straight loss within the World Cup regardless of being a crowd favourite in Manila.

Ignas Brazdeikis was instrumental in Lithuania’s win with 15 factors on 3-of-4 three-point capturing. Mindaugas Kuzminskas and Deividas Sirvydis chipped in 14 markers every whereas Vaidas Kariniauskas dished out 10 assists.

Lithuania bounced again from a tricky 87-68 loss to Serbia within the quarterfinals. It unleashed a 14-2 run from the top of the third to the final seven minutes of the sport capped by Sirvydis’ triple to push the lead t  21 factors, 86-65, and by no means appeared again.

“It was robust up there as much as the final recreation. However we discovered vitality, we discovered the braveness to come back out and play arduous,” Valanciunas mentioned.

Aleksej Nikolic had 14 factors for the Slovenians. Mike Tobey chipped in 13 factors and 9 rebounds, whereas Zoran Dragic added 12 markers.

Doncic will play his final recreation at MOA Enviornment when Slovenia tries to take the seventh place in opposition to Italy on Saturday.

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