Knockout round: Slovenia and France in quarterfinals – out for Lithuania

knockout round
Slovenia and France in the quarterfinals – out for Lithuania

Belgian Jean-Marc Mwema (l) in action against Slovenia star Luka Doncic.  Photo: Soeren Stache/dpa

Belgian Jean-Marc Mwema (l) in action against Slovenia star Luka Doncic. photo

© Soeren Stache/dpa

Defending champions Slovenia easily reached the quarterfinals of the European Basketball Championship, just like the French before them, who had a lot more trouble.

defending champion Slovenia reached the quarterfinals at the European Basketball Championship without much effort, like the French before, who had a lot more trouble.

Even without a gala by superstar Luka Doncic, the Slovenians beat outsiders Belgium 88:72 (44:41) in the round of 16 in Berlin on Saturday. Doncic played differently than last time at the end of the preliminary round against Germany and France this time rather unspectacular, but with 35 points he was clearly the best thrower. In the quarter-finals, Doncic and Co. take on the winner of the duel between Ukraine and Poland, who face each other on Sunday.

Co-favorite France had much more trouble. The Olympic bronze medalist needed extra time in his round of 16 to defeat Turkey 87:86 (77:77, 43:35). In an exciting game, the French gave up a clear lead after the break and were two points behind just before the end. But then the Turk Cedi Osman missed two free throws before the outstanding one Rudy Gobert France saved into overtime with two seconds remaining.

Gobert from the NBA club Minnesota Timberwolves ended up with a strong 20 points and 17 rebounds. In the quarter-finals, the French meet at the start of the European Championship Germany had lost, on the winner of the duel between the top favorites Serbia and Italy, who play against each other on Sunday (6 p.m.). Germany meets Montenegro in their round of 16.

Spain also had to tremble to the end. The three-time European champion beat Lithuania in a gripping game only after extra time with 102:94 (83:83, 40:45) and now meets either Finland or Croatia.


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