QF Preview: Slovenia vs. France

18 September 2013
Zoran Dragic (Slovenia)
"We know where the best players are on the [French] team and we want to stop them" - Zoran Dragic

It's the hosts against one of the two big favorites for a spot in the semi-finals - and an automatic berth at the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup.

Both teams have played a bit up and down thus far in EuroBasket 2013, though the French have been more worrisome with their roller-coaster ride - suffering losses to Germany, Lithuania and Serbia. Still, Les Bleus are one of the most dangerous - and talented - teams with a trio to rival any other three-man group in the tournament with Tony Parker, Nicolas Batum and Boris Diaw. Additionally, center Alexis Ajinca has excelled in his first senior level tournament for French head coach Vincent Collet.

Slovenia meanwhile have a great back-court in the Dragic brothers Goran and Zoran while Mirza Begic is an intimidating force in the middle and Bostjan Nachbar and Domen Lorbek lead a strong arsenal from long range. Oh, and Bozidar Maljkovic's team will have the support of more than 10,000 fans at Stozice Arena. But the Slovenians will have to bounce back from a defeat against Finland in their last group stage match.

The winner of this quarter-final will take on the winner of the quarter between Serbia and Spain.

Stats Don't Lie: France are the number one scoring team in the tournament (79.0 points-per-game) and lead in overall field goal percentage (49.1%) and two-point shooting percentage (56.3%). Slovenia meanwhile are fifth in opponents field goal shooting (40.7%) and second in opponent two-point shooting (42.2%). Both teams shoot a poor 31.7% from three-point range - though France have taken the third fewest long balls (18.1 per-game). Slovenia on the other hand are second in offensive rebounds (13.6 per-game) and second in total rebounds (39.8) while France are 15th in total rebounds (34.9).

Key Match-Up: Sure there is Alexis Ajinca vs. Mirza Begic but of course the number one showdown in this game will be Tony Parker v Goran Dragic. Slovenia have committed the second fewest turnovers in the competition (10.5 per-game) while Dragic is dishing out 4.4 assists with an assist/turnover ratio of 2.9. Parker is proving to be unstoppable, scoring 17.3 points to go along with 3.9 assists and hitting 63% from two-point range. This will be an outstanding showdown of high-paced NBA point guards.

They Say:

Slovenian guard Zoran Dragic: "We know where the best players are on the [French] team and we want to stop them."

France coach Vincent Collet: "It will be a real battle. I would be really disappointed if we were not ready to play this game. We love to compete and it's that's kind of game."



26.09.2013 - EUROBASKET 2013
26.09.2013 - EUROBASKET 2015
26.09.2013 - EUROBASKET 2013
26.09.2013 - EUROBASKET 2013
26.09.2013 - EUROBASKET 2013

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