Superb Slovenia Stifle Great Britain

14 July 2014

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9. Matic Rebec (Slovenia)
Matic Rebec delivered an outstanding performance, dishing out a tournament-best 15 assists

Slovenia produced a mature performance to cruise to a 75-52 win over Great Britain in the clash that raised the curtain on Group E action in the Second Round of the U20 European Championship on Crete.

Turning Point: Slovenia scored the last six points in the first quarter and kicked off proceedings in the second frame with an 8-3 burst that enabled them to build a 27-13 lead 8:26 before the half-time buzzer. Great Britain would play catch-up from then on and Slovenia killed off whatever hopes the British had of reducing the gap with a superb third quarter on both ends of the floor, to lead by as many as 25 points shortly after the third buzzer, 62-37.

Game Hero: Matic Rebec could have fallen into the temptation to also try to make up for the contribution on the perimeter of Erjon Kastrati, who sat out the game with fever. Instead, the Slovenian point guard chose to stick to what he knows best and produced a sublime performance, splitting the British zone defence again and again to create open looks for his team-mates. Rebec dished out a new tournament-high 15 assists to go with his four points and, surprisingly for his size, team-high eight rebounds.

Stats Don't Lie: Slovenia dominated the boards, out-rebounding Great Britain 35 to 22 and were patient and methodical in circulating the ball to shoot 50.8% from the floor.

The Bottom Line: Slovenia now stand at 2-1 in Group E and have started in ideal fashion the race to secure a quarter-final berth as they have also secured a vastly favourable point differential in case they are involved in a tie together with the British. Great Britain have dropped to 1-2 and will look for their fist win in the Second Round on Tuesday, against Serbia.

 


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