Group:  C | 07.09.2009, 18:15h
Group:  C | 07.09.2009, 18:15h
15 - 2720 - 1012 - 1412 - 21
15 - 2720 - 1012 - 1412 - 21
Venue: Warsaw (POL) |
Spectators: 3054 |
Referees: Lazaros Voreadis (GRE), David Chambon (FRA), Borys Ryzhyk (UKR)


Slovenia Pull Away Late, Top Great Britain

Game Summary

Turning point: Slovenia used a 10-0 run in the middle of the fourth quarter to extend their lead from 57-52 to 67-52 and seemingly put the game out of Great Britain's reach for good.

Hero:  Samo Udrih and Domen Lorbek. The lesser known of two pairs of brothers on the Slovenian national team, they hit the basket at the right time during that fourth quarter spurt.

Stats: 100 per cent. That was Erazem Lorbek's shooting percentage for the game. He hit all eight of his field goal attempts (including one three-pointer) and made good on both of his free-throws.


Slovenia used a near-perfect fourth quarter shooting display to shake off stubborn Great Britain and secure a 72-59 win in EuroBasket Group C in Warsaw.

Jure Zdovc's men heated up in the final frame, hitting nine of 13 field goal attempts (including three of four from three-point territory) as they outscored their opponents 21-12, at one stage reeling off 10 unanswered points to turn their 57-52 edge into a 67-52 cushion.

Erazem Lorbek had a game-high 19 points despite playing only 20 minutes due to foul trouble. He was perfect from the field, hitting all eight of his shots and both his free-throws.

"This was a difficult game. We really had to work hard in the final quarter to hold them off," he said afterwards.

"They [Great Britain] are a very good team and I think we saw that especially in the middle quarters. We played well in stretches but we need to do a better job especially defensively in the next game."

Pops Mensah-Bonsu led the way for the Brits with 18 points and saw both the positive and negative from the game.

"The way we played in the second quarter was very encouraging to see but we need to duplicate that and not have big gaps when we struggle as we did," said the forward.

"In the final quarter it was just a case of Slovenia hitting the shots at the right time. They got a hot hand and they capitalised on it."

Great Britain started slow but were within three, 10-7, on Andy Betts' three-point play with 6:36 left in the first quarter.

Slovenia then outscored them 17-8 the rest of the period courtesy of some accurate three-point shooting by Samo Udrih and Bostjan Nachbar for a 27-15 advantage heading into the second quarter.

Newcomers Great Britain looked to be in real trouble but Robert Archibald and Mensah-Bonsu provided a timely offensive boost as Great Britain went on a 14-2 run to tie the game at 29 when Joel Freeman, fresh off the bench, converted a three-point play with just over six minutes left in the half.

Slovenia struggled with their low-post defense as big men Primoz Brezec and Erazem Lorbek both picked up second personal fouls  and Chris Finch's side capitalised to take their first lead of the game, 35-33, when, once again, Freeman made good on the shot and the free-throw.

Domen Lorbek hit a tough runner and Jaka Lakovic made a pair of free-throws to edge Slovenia back in front, 37-35, at the break.

Slovenia pushed their advantage to 47-40 early in the third quarter as some crisp ball movement led to open three-pointers for Bostjan Nachbar and Goran Jagodnik who made good on their attempts.

Great Britain hit just one field goal in the first six minutes of the third period but got a lift when Flinder Boyd came off the bench and scored five quick points to get back within two, 47-45.

Erazem Lorbek though scored the last four points of the quarter as the Slovenians led 51-47 and they would carry that momentum into the final frame.

Lakovic and Domen Lorbek buried two quick three-pointers for a 57-50 advantage. Great Britain came back within five, 57-52, on a Betts' basket, but that is as close as they would get the rest of the way as Slovenia responded right away with a 10-0 run and never looked back.

Domen Lorbek and Samo Udrih accounted for 11 of Slovenia's 22 points in the final frame.

Despite being short of captain Matjaz Smodis and big man Uros Slokar, Slovenia did a good job on the boards, out-rebounding their opponents 28-23.

Afterwards, Finch gave due credit to Slovenia.

"They made plays when they had to, especially in the fourth quarter when the game was on the line. We wanted to keep it close to the fourth quarter and did, but they came out and hit some shots. We had some turnovers and were chasing the game."

Zdovc praised his team's defense, especially late in the game.

"I am very happy with the way we defended in the fourth quarter. We made shots but our defense is what stopped them from fighting back," he said.


Quotes Great Britain vs. Slovenia

Jure Zdovc (Slovenia Coach):

"I want to congratulate my players, it was a great effort from them.  It was the tough game, and the opposition caused us all the problems with their big guys. They were punishing us with rebounds during the first half, we were also late with the traps, which caused foul problems for our inside players. The key for the win was our defense in fourth quarter."

Jaka Lakovic (Slovenia Guard):

"It was a tough match, which is not a surprise, because the first game in the tournament is always the toughest.  We started well, but we lost control in the second quarter until we found some solutions against their zone defense."

Chris Finch (Great Britain Coach):

"I want to congratulate our opponents, they were outstanding in the moments when they had to be. We expected a strong start by Slovenia, I hoped we would be able to counter-attack later during the game and we just did that. In fourth quarter we had some turnovers, they were making some important shots and that's why we lost."

Nate Reinking (Great Britain Guard):

"It was a tough game and we weren't able to make a key plays down the stretch. They started to shoot the ball well in fourth quarter and then we lost control on the game. We are happy to have a chance to play against such a good team like Slovenia and we look forward for tomorrow game against World Champions Spain."

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