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14.09.2011, 18:00h
14.09.2011, 18:00h
86-64
16 - 2319 - 836 - 1415 - 19
16 - 2319 - 836 - 1415 - 19
Venue: Kaunas (LTU) |
Spectators: 11000 |
Referees: Christos Christodoulou (GRE), Ilija Belosevic (SRB), Olegs Latisevs (LAT)

GAME REPORT


Spain Move Through Gears To Reach Semis

Turning Point: Having scored only 35 points during the first half, Spain was close to invincible during the third quarter when they poured in 36 points and left Slovenia trailing in their wake.

Game Heroes: Juan Carlos Navarro poured in 17 points during a blistering third quarter and finished with a game high 26. Pau Gasol finished with a powerful double-double of 19 points and 16 rebounds, although it wasn't his greatest shooting night.

Stats Don't Lie: Having scored 23 points during the first ten minutes of action, it took Slovenia 21 minutes to score their next 23 points.



Defending EuroBasket champions Spain shrugged off a stuttering start against Slovenia to power their way into the semi-finals.

After an error-strewn and unconvincing first half, they eventually began to shift through the gears to secure an 86-64 success.

They barely missed a beat after the break as they went into overdrive with their superior quality, depth and defence overwhelming Slovenia who imploded completely.

It was Juan Carlos Navarro who ignited Spain during a remarkable third quarter although Spanish joy was tempered by an injury to Jose Calderon.

It had all started so brightly for Slovenia, initially revelling in their underdog status during the early stages with their sense of freedom giving their fans much to cheer.

Especially when Erazem Lorbek and Jaka Lakovic both dropped three-balls ahead of Edo Muric blocking Pau Gasol and then moments later, dunking on his brother.

Sasa Osbolt finished the quarter with a three-pointer to put Slovenia 23-16 ahead with Spain's six turnovers handing them 12 of their points.

Spain reacted immediately with a 9-2 run levelling the scores as the momentum shifted. As Slovenia's offence began to misfire, Spain restricted them to just one score in seven minutes.

Although Matjaz Smodis finally broke the drought, Felipe Reyes came off the bench to give his team their first lead and it was Spain who still led 35-31 at half-time.

It wasn't long before it grew into a convincing double-digit lead when the teams returned to the floor. The Spanish continued their defensive lockdown but also put their foot on the pedal offensively.

After Rudy Fernandez drilled a three-pointer to put his team 44-31 in front, they never looked back as they tore Slovenia to shreds, stretching their lead to as many as 28 points.

The remainder of the game was little more than a procession for Spain, although the injury to Calderon and a loss of discipline arguably took the shine off their performance a little.

COACH QUOTES


Quotes Spain vs. Slovenia

Spain Shooting Guard Juan Carlos Navarro:
We're very happy to be in the semi-finals. We had a very bad first half, but we played much better in the second half and that's how we won the game. We have one day to rest now and that's a good thing, because we want and need to be as ready as possible for the very important semi-finals.

Slovenia Guard Goran Dragic:
It was a very tough game for us. We played well in the first half and were in a good position, but after the half time break we made too many turnovers. After that it was tough to match-up with Spain. I want to congratulate Spain for this win. They won the game fairly.

Spain Head Coach Sergio Scariolo:
We're very happy to reach another goal we set to ourselves - be one of the top four teams in Europe. Slovenia deserve a lot of credit for how they started the game. They were tough and played well udner the basket. In the first five minutes of the second half things changed in our favour. We played good defense already in the second quarter when we stopped them on just eight points and that was a sign for us things are going good despite the first quarter. We reduced our turnovers, played with good tempo, didn't rush things and we enjoyed a great day by Juan Carlos Navarro.

Slovenia Head Coach Bozidar Maljkovic:
We started the game the way we wanted. We played tough defense. We moved the ball well. All in all we did a good job. That helped us to stay in the game. In the third quarter they scored 36 points and that's much more than what we can allow. We didn't do our job on defense in the second half. We needed to play good for 40 minutes in order to handle Spain, but we played well for less time and that's why we lost.

Top performers

Accumulated statistics

49.2%

31/63
FG
M/A

34.7%

25/72

54.8%

23/42
FG2P
M/A

42.2%

19/45

38.1%

8/21
FG3P
M/A

22.2%

6/27

84.2%

16/19
FT
M/A

80.0%

8/10

47

13/34
RT
RO/RD

32

15/17

16

AS

9

18

TO

13

9

ST

12

7

BS

1

18

PF

25

86

Pts

64

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